Converged solutions: What are they and what benefits do they bring?

In recent years, converged solutions have become a topic of rising prominence within the IT world. However, many decision-makers are still unsure about what it means to have converged systems and what advantages this strategy brings.

In recent years, converged solutions have become a topic of rising prominence within the IT world. However, many decision-makers are still unsure about what it means to have converged systems and what advantages this strategy brings.

Convergence: A definition
According to TechTarget, through the IT lens, convergence refers to the combination of two or more formerly separate technologies into a single system. This can include a whole host of devices or software programs that a company might use.

“Convergence refers to the combination of two or more formerly separate technologies into a single system.”

TechRepublic contributor Keith Townsend noted that converged systems represent “a natural progression” away from siloed IT solutions.

“In these legacy environments, there may be separate administrative groups and systems for storage, servers and network,” Townsend explained. “The concept of converged systems combines two or more of these infrastructure components as a pre-engineered solution.”

In this way, previously separate operations are more integrated with one another, helping to establish a more unified infrastructure.

Why use converged systems?
There are several compelling reasons to switch to a more converged infrastructure, including the ability to reduce existing complexities. NetApp pointed out that this simplicity extends not only to the network itself – which is made up of singular solutions that serve multiple purposes as opposed to a network of separate systems that each only perform one function – but to the vendor relationship as well. Instead of contacting several different vendors to address issues when and if they crop up, companies only have to worry about reaching out to a single provider.

In addition, having converged solutions in place can also help improve network uptime and performance. If usability challenges appear in a legacy network, administrators have to put in considerable time and effort to pinpoint the source of the issue and work to fix it. A network made up of converged systems is much more streamlined and intertwined, allowing for a higher level of availability.

Convergence combines formerly siloed solutions, creating a simplified, more unified infrastructure.
Convergence combines formerly siloed solutions, creating a simplified, more unified infrastructure.

Converged on-premises solutions can also be a considerable boon for the internal IT team, Patriot contributor Dewayne Adams pointed out. With fewer physical hardware components to deal with, maintenance requirements are considerably reduced. In addition, automation tools are very well-suited for these environments, lessening the company’s reliance on its IT team even further. This is particularly advantageous for smaller organizations that might not have an extensive IT staff in place. With converged infrastructure, IT employees can focus on other important technology initiatives taking place within the organization.

Converged solutions also boast a more cost-effective and faster deployment process than a traditional infrastructure environment.

“While the cost of shifting from a silo solution to converged infrastructures may be initially higher than simply expanding an existing silo, the long-term operating cost of converged infrastructures is far lower,” Adams wrote.

In this way, the investment is worth it in the long run.

For more information
Still unsure about the ins and outs of converged solutions? Join iT1 Source and Hewlett-Packard at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 as we discuss convergence and introduce HP ConvergedSystem StoreVirtual hyper-converged appliances. Click here for more information or send us a message [email protected] to receive an invitation.