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dilber data centerLike many of the buzzwords that tend to circulate through the air in the data center world, convergence continues to present itself as a solution to data center sprawl. Of course, the question of how to deal with significant growth isn’t new to the data center.

Some of the most effective solutions have centered around virtualization, of course. Getting away from the one-application, one-server model is a tremendously good thing. But virtualization needs more than just consolidating servers; to be truly effective it needs converged infrastructure.

The limits of convergence

Converged systems – those systems that combine server, storage, network, cabling, and other technologies into a single system – are one way to do this. Unfortunately, convergence devices are competing in a tough marketplace right now. With the rise of cloud computing solutions, more organizations are interested in pushing applications offsite and out the door, rather than onto converged infrastructure.

High costs

The overhead involved in implementing converged systems has been part of what’s held it back to this point. To fully implement converged solutions can require a major overhaul of how IT works, and it can leave holes that have to be plugged with additional expenditures. Deployment gets mired down, and rapidly-deployed cloud solutions look better and better every day.

How convergence devices can work

Being able to collapse several functions all at once down into a single chassis can provide less strain on an infrastructure that’s already stressed to its limits. Convergence can realize a reduction in cabling by almost half, and reduce power and cooling even more significantly beyond what virtualization alone can do.

Converged devices also let you provision faster, when compared to traditional multi-part deployments. You can upgrade a server and switch in days, rather than in weeks, and you can do it under the umbrella of a single management team.

Holding back, for now

There is still one technological barrier to real convergence at this point. Converged devices tend to rely on Fiber Channel over Ethernet, and the standards and support for this technology are still being worked out. Transitions are tough, too, because you have to deal with a heterogeneous environment, to say nothing of management overhead.

Convergence may not be out for the count, but it’s on the ropes. Time will tell whether this becomes a well-trodden IT path or just another legacy idea that never gained widespread acceptance.


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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.