BACKGROUND IMAGE: stock.adobe.com
A couple of years ago, HPE jumped into the market and attempted to define a new term -- composable infrastructure. At first, there was a sense of exasperation, as it looked like the company was simply trying to coin a new term rather than new technology. But then it became clear that there was, in fact, technology to accompany the term. HPE's Synergy line of hardware and software is their instantiation of this technology.
Since then, HPE has continued to develop Synergy and has expanded its composable portfolio to include ProLiant DL servers. For smaller environments, SimpliVity fits the composable infrastructure bill.
Today, composable has gone well beyond HPE. Other companies, such as Dell EMC, Lenovo, Western Digital and others have jumped feet first into the composable pool and are working on building environments that are eminently flexible, manageable and scalable.
Composable infrastructure is really a critical next step in enterprise computing. It's sometimes considered the next evolution of hyper-convergence, and it's true that the technologies share a common set of principles, although composable takes certain concepts further.
Not everyone needs composable infrastructure ... at least, not yet
Composable infrastructure is ideally suited for organizations that want the benefits of hyper-convergence but also need to support virtual, physical and containerized workloads. It's also a great choice for those that need to support highly dynamic workloads. If you're operating a DevOps-centric environment, for example, and you need to build and destroy workloads all the time, composable infrastructure's flexibility might be a good fit.
Composable infrastructure's software-centric approach essentially means the data center architecture is completely programmable. Your applications, should they need to do so, can integrate with the underlying infrastructure and self-manage their resource needs. No human intervention is required for routine operations.
Although composable infrastructure deployments can support traditional needs, it is in these highly dynamic environments where composability shines. I predict that, over time, we'll see much more composability coming to hyper-converged systems, as well. It's a natural evolution path for IT infrastructure