Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of growth in converged infrastructures. Essentially, a converged infrastructure is any type of infrastructure that takes two or more discrete pieces of technology and consolidates them into one information system solution. Traditional converged systems, ones that are packaged solutions, take existing technology and consolidate it into a repeatable, standardized deployment framework. But the new model of converged systems takes that disparate technology and converges it in a much more tightly integrated way, using something called the software-defined data center. Software-defined is just another way of saying hyperconvergence.
In my view, the term “software-defined” is a stand-in for “virtual.” It does mean something slightly different, because when we think of virtualization we typically think of virtual servers. But software-defined enables us to virtualize literally anything in the data center. What we’re really saying is that we’re trying to create a data center that’s policy driven, automated, highly virtualized, and that virtualizes elements that formerly could only be done with purpose-specific hardware.
That’s really the power and the promise of convergence in the future—the modern data center. Everything will be software-defined, highly scalable, and highly flexible. Things like security devices, hardware firewalls, routers, switches, VPN concentrators, servers, storage arrays—all of these things will be software-defined in the modern data center.
Converged infrastructure is ultimately the core concept that is going to power this innovation in technology. We as technologists are very lucky to actually be working in the field at this particular point in time when we’re seeing a wave of innovation in the data center. The new technology that’s become available is enabling us to harness the power of information technology in a way that we’ve never had the capability of doing before. But while it makes it a very exciting time for me, it’s a very challenging time for others because the landscape has become very complicated.
A customer might not know the right path to take. They might need a trusted advisor to help them design the right solution. That’s where our Converged Data Center Practice can really step in and help. The depth of our expertise is one of the best values we can offer. Our engineers have as many as 30 years of experience in the industry. As a trusted partner, we can help guide a customer down to the right solution. We can also help customers with implementing those solutions, because we’ve seen this kind of change over time, and we understand it. We’ve kept on the forefront of technology. That enables us to be able to lead the customer to success.