January 17, 2017

What you need to know about converged infrastructures

Quick deployment. Simplicity. Flexibility. Cost savings. These are all benefits that converged or hyper-converged infrastructure solutions can provide to organizations.

According to TechTarget, a converged infrastructure simplifies IT by bundling three key data center stack components — compute, storage and networking — into a single chassis that can be quickly deployed and centrally managed. The hardware is preconfigured to run whatever workload you have, whether it is a database, virtual desktop infrastructure or a specific application. The converged infrastructure provides pre-integrated, validated and workload-optimized technology to IT organizations that can then focus on bringing applications into production quickly instead of maintaining an infrastructure.

Research firm IDC estimates that total worldwide spending on converged infrastructure will hit $17.8 billion in 2019, up from $4.6 billion in 2012. Gartner agrees and added that the converged infrastructure market will account for 12.8% of total storage, server, networking and software spending in 2016.

The converged market is divided into three types of solutions:

  1. Integrated Workload Systems where the server, storage and network integrate with database and/or software to provide appliance or appliance-like functionality.
  2. Integrated Infrastructure Systems where the server, storage and network integrated to provide shared compute infrastructure.
  3. Integrated Reference Architectures where products in predefined, pre-sized components are designated as options for an integrated system, and the user and/or channel can make configuration choices between the predefined options.

You may have also heard of hyper-converged infrastructures. These solutions originate from both converged infrastructure and the software defined data center concept. One way to describe hyper-converged infrastructure is that vendors put everything in a box so that all the pieces are integrated and easy to control on a cloud platform. Hyper-converged infrastructures include the same aspects of converged infrastructures but add additional components like backup software, snapshot capabilities, data deduplication, WAN optimization and more.

Like the converged market, the hyper-converged market is rapidly growing. Industry analyst Gartner says hyper-converged solutions will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.

Arrow supports partners who are thinking about or currently selling into the converged market with its Data Center Convergence program. Getting the servers, storage and networking devices to all play together can be a challenge. Arrow leverages established relationships with top technology vendors, so that you can provide your customers with a solid solution. In addition to technology, Arrow will also help you with the tools, information and support you need to create a fully virtualized architecture for your customers.

If you would like to learn more about the converged or hyper-converged marketplace, contact your Arrow representative.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.