How converged and hyper-converged infrastructure is disrupting traditional markets

Rob Makin

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Businesses that cling abjectly to archaic processes are headed for one of two fates: acquisition or extinction.

Traditional technology infrastructures and processes are poorly equipped to cope with the modern business environment. In a competitive marketplace that requires agility, flexibility and scalability, legacy processes such as a six-week procurement cycle for new computer resources are simply unacceptable.

So how can IT leaders quickly transform technology into an enabler of business competitiveness? The answer is by deploying a hyper-converged infrastructure. At Lenovo, we’re helping businesses implement hyper-converged infrastructures by converging storage, server and virtualisation resources onto integrated scale-out appliances.

Put another way, we’re powering companies on the fast track to a private cloud data centre. This will allow them to enjoy more predictable costs, better risk management and a greater ability to focus on delivering the applications and services that drive success.

Support from infrastructure and data centre team members

The hyper-converged infrastructure is already securing strong support from infrastructure and data centre team members who face the day-to-day challenge of maintaining technology environments. The ‘why’ is simple: a hyper-converged infrastructure allows them to reduce complexity; they can complete maintenance tasks when they need to rather than try to schedule maintenance windows at times that minimise disruption to the business. In other words, a hyper-converged infrastructure enables infrastructure and data centre team members to get their weekends back!

More seriously, we see the hyper-converged infrastructure quickly gaining the attention of chief information officers and other members of the C-Suite as businesses start to realise its full potential.

No ‘rip and replace’ required

Importantly, companies can deploy a hyper-converged infrastructure in their existing data centres without having to rip out and replace their existing infrastructure. Instead, they can operate the two in complementary fashion until the existing data centre equipment reaches end of life. In addition, the hyper-converged infrastructure’s small footprint means that businesses do not have to allocate considerable data centre real estate, power and cooling resources to its operation, helping keep costs at a minimum.

While it is still relatively early days, some of the companies we have partnered with to deliver the hyper-converged infrastructure include SimpliVity with its OmniStack data virtualisation platform, and Nutanix and DataCore with their state-of-the-art storage products. These businesses all realise that the potential of the hyper-converged infrastructure to deliver the private cloud data centre to both large enterprises and mid-sized companies is enormous. DataCore cites the example of a hospital that ran its Virtual SAN on a converged architecture to reduce costs, scale and improve the performance of a virtual PBX

Our hyper-converged infrastructure solutions support a range of use cases, including high-performance database and analytics, disaster recovery and long-term archiving, virtual desktop infrastructure and remote offices. The power of our x86 servers will ensure the hyper-converged infrastructure meets all the requirements of medium to large businesses.

Huge growth forecast

Industry analysts IDC predicted on 30 April that the global hyper-converged systems market would reach USD$807 million in 2015 (€720 million), up 116 percent over 2014. While hyper-converged systems originated in mid-sized environments and virtual desktop infrastructure projects, they are now increasingly hosting general business applications.

So what steps should businesses take to deploy a hyper-converged infrastructure? The key is commitment. If you embrace the potential a hyper-converged infrastructure offers to your business, you will gain enormous benefits including lower costs, improved manageability and, most importantly, a sizeable edge over your competitors.

 

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