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Data center convergence and the role of storage

Going converged can resolve data center resource issues and be a storage life saver. This guide dives into the benefits of data center convergence and what converged and hyper-converged platforms mean for storage.

Introduction

Organizations turn to data center convergence for a number of reasons: there are many proposed benefits, more vendors are joining the converged and hyper-converged fray, and the ever-expanding issue of data growth has made scalable, manageable infrastructure an appealing option.

Storage, in particular, can be a huge selling point when it comes to converged and hyper-converged platforms. Maxing out the amount of available space is a common problem for many shops, but a converged infrastructure strategy offers the opportunity to snap more storage in as needed. This can be a lifesaver in situations where businesses have underestimated the amount of data storage required or where there is an unexpected need to scale up.

A converged infrastructure combines storage, compute and, sometimes, networking into a single box. This can reduce costs, minimize server compatibility issues and simplify management. In terms of storage, convergence removes physical and logical barriers that slow data storage, while standardized platforms help streamline operations. Due to growing demand for IT resources in physical, virtual and cloud environments, converged storage is seeing higher levels of interest.

Hyper-converged infrastructures, which grew from the concept of converged infrastructures, are also having a moment in the data storage spotlight. Unlike a converged infrastructure, a hyper-converged system is software-driven. Hyper-converged infrastructure enables compute, storage and virtualization to be managed through a single system.

Whether you're looking for convergence or hyper-convergence, the benefits are easy to see. However, that doesn't mean either technology is a perfect option. We've provided a number of resources that will help you understand the benefits of data center convergence, which implementations work best, where they work best and potential drawbacks.

We also take a look at the state of the market, and offer some advice for dealing with vendors. Your storage admins may thank you.

1Converged vs. hyper-converged-

Differences between the two approaches

When it comes to data center convergence, both converged and hyper-converged infrastructures come up as topics. Let's dive into the similarities and differences between the approaches.

Tip

Think of CI vs. HCI as a hardware vs. software question

The converged vs. hyper-converged infrastructure debate largely comes down to whether you want a hardware- or software-based storage approach. Continue Reading

Answer

Where do convergence and hyper-convergence work best?

When deciding between converged and hyper-converged systems, the varying vendor definitions aren't always clear. Use cases can help with an evaluation. Continue Reading

Tip

Where should you deploy your virtualized workload?

Data center convergence benefits include deep software integration and simplified management. Does your organization fit with HCI, converged infrastructure or the public cloud? Continue Reading

2Hyper-convergence-

Why should you go hyper-converged?

Using hyper-convergence in your data center comes with a number of advantages. From streamlined management to scalable storage, hyper-convergence is appealing to many organizations.

Feature

Simplicity of hyper-converged approach makes it a tempting option

Smaller businesses are eager to convert to hyper-convergence for its IT simplicity. Both infrastructure and storage vendors alike are competing to get in on the hyper-converged action. Continue Reading

Video

Why hyper-convergence works in the data center

The predictable and scalable nature of hyper-converged storage makes it one of the major benefits of data center convergence. Continue Reading

Opinion

Hyper-converged strategy good for more than just primary storage

While mostly applied to primary storage, the principles of hyper-convergence can benefit secondary storage, as well. This method doesn't come without challenges, but the technology to pull it off may be well within your grasp. Continue Reading

Tip

Common problems hyper-convergence can solve

Dealing with a data storage problem? Use hyper-convergence to reduce complexity and solve issues that plague IT professionals with virtual environments. Continue Reading

Tip

Small businesses benefit from (small) HCI platforms

Hyper-converged infrastructures generally suit larger organizations, but small businesses without dedicated IT specialists for storage, virtualization and networking can find a hyper-converged system that works for them. Continue Reading

Tip

Top 10 reasons to go hyper-converged

A hyper-converged data center can reduce management time, eliminate storage silos and improve the use of resources, among other benefits. Is data center convergence right for your enterprise? Continue Reading

3Convergence-

Benefits of data center convergence

Like its hyper-converged counterpart, convergence can boost cooperation between storage, server, networking and virtualization. Convergence has the added advantage of integrating new tools with an existing environment. See how it stacks up against other options.

Opinion

Where converged infrastructure fits best

Some of the benefits of data center convergence, such as fewer management duties, will be more appealing to some organizations than others. Continue Reading

Answer

IT cooperation key to successful converged deployment

To achieve effective converged infrastructure management, IT needs to be prepared to merge teams that were once dedicated to each part of the data center. Continue Reading

News

CI lock-in fears are a thing of the past

While vendor lock-in remains a concern with hyper-converged infrastructures, the same cannot be said for converged platforms. Continue Reading

News

IT pros taking advantage of customized convergence

The benefits of converged infrastructure aren't always apparent if your workload requirements aren't met. That's where the customizable Validated Systems comes in. Continue Reading

News

Cloud and hyper-converged nip at heels of converged

Converged infrastructures aren't as popular in the data center as they once were, as cloud computing and hyper-converged systems are stealing the spotlight. But don't count convergence out just yet. Continue Reading

4Working with vendors-

Purchase concerns

Finding the right vendor can make all the difference in data center convergence, and not just because of cost. Vendor lock-in can make managing hyper-converged storage a challenge if you're not careful.

Tip

Watch out for additional hyper-converged system costs

Keep an eye on your overall IT infrastructure costs as you keep adding features to a cheaper hyper-converged system option. Storage capacity in particular can be a factor. Continue Reading

Opinion

What does the current HCI market look like?

Before committing to data center convergence, it's important to see what vendors are doing in the market, particularly if you're looking at a hyper-converged implementation. Continue Reading

Tip

Hyper-convergence vendors may limit storage innovation

Lock-in is a concern when you go with a hyper-converged option because you may get stuck waiting for your vendor of choice to support new technologies and advancements. Continue Reading

Tip

Minimize the concerns of HCI and CI vendor lock-in

Vendor independence is a valid concern with data center convergence. Some companies offer more independence and flexible storage, but read the fine print. Continue Reading

5Going all-in-

Final considerations

Implementing a converged or hyper-converged platform can streamline resource management, add flexibility and scalability to your storage, and improve performance. However, the technology comes with its own challenges.

Tip

Should you adopt hyper-convergence in your data center?

Are you ready to drop your previous storage investments? Before taking the plunge into data center convergence, take these factors into account. Continue Reading

Tip

The realities of 100% convergence

While there are many storage benefits to data center convergence, a hyper-converged infrastructure implementation could have a negative effect on your storage performance and capacity. Continue Reading

Tip

Hyper-convergence provides a beneficial cost model

The growth model of a hyper-converged data center is unique because you can purchase resources, such as storage, as you need them. This can be particularly helpful for growing organizations. Continue Reading

Tip

SDN, SD storage boost data center convergence

Software-defined storage offers IT options to enable data storage virtualization, provisioning and management. When implementing a converged infrastructure, this can make all the difference. Continue Reading

Tip

How to prep your data center for convergence

Learn what steps you should take to prepare your data center for a new HCI platform. Technical and organizational planning are a necessity. Continue Reading

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