Data center convergence and the role of storage

Last updated:May 2017

Editor's note

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.

1Why 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.

2Benefits 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.

3Purchase 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.

4Final 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.