Converged Infrastructure: The Emerging Imperative in IT

By now IT professionals have seen enough trade shows, listened to enough vendor briefings and read enough product releases to understand the changing direction of the enterprise data center for enabling cloud environments.

IT leaders have evolved from deciding “if” they’re adopting an internal cloud strategy, to “how” they’re deploying and operationalizing their own private cloud configurations. The evolution toward a more agile delivery model for IT services has led them to realize that the legacy “do it yourself” approach to infrastructure deployment is becoming marginalized.

It was fun while it lasted, but IT departments can no longer sustain the increasing demands of their users. They are struggling to stay relevant to their business constituents, while being consumed with managing day-to-day activities associated with maintaining individual infrastructure components.

Market differentiation has become more reliant on time-to-market for new and creative application-enabled features and services. Administration of the bespoke infrastructure silos deployed through years of project-based application rollouts has also deferred the movement toward infrastructure convergence.

That is, until now.

Strategy conversations with IT leaders have been changing. More and more frequently I’m hearing the same comments from IT leaders:

IT Leader: Our CIO and line of business leaders are going outside IT to public cloud providers for applications, development and testing, because it’s faster and easier than waiting for us to provide an internal capability, but can lack the compliance and control organizations require. 

We’d like to build our own cloud platform, but my IT staff doesn’t have the time and budget available. I’m not sure how we’ll reprioritize the workload to build our own infrastructure. We have a backlog of projects for my staff to complete. And we don’t have the training or skill sets to do this in a reasonable amount of time – along with everything else we have to do.

This dilemma is not an uncommon one. What options are available to the IT leader looking to adopt an innovative approach to lead them out of this situation? What’s the next step?

Enter converged infrastructure

VCE Vblock Systems provide converged infrastructures that are pre-integrated, pre-tested and pre-validated using Cisco compute and networking, EMC storage and data protection, and VMware virtualization software, and are proven to expedite customer private cloud deployments. In fact, as a result of VCE’s manufacturing processes and deployment expertise, VCE can deliver a production-ready Vblock System from thefactory with a specific configuration within 45 days from order.  Following a fast (48-hour) deployment and installation cycle by VCE technicians, end users can quickly consume applications and services and reduce time to market.

The Vblock System’s deterministic, tightly integrated architecture enables a highly reliable level of service and provides a streamlined approach to ongoing operations – this removes the time and resources required to stand up production-ready infrastructure while enabling IT to refocus their efforts on projects that drive business value and results. What used to take a dedicated support staff from various siloed infrastructure teams can now be managed with a Vblock System administrator, allowing the opportunity to optimize the operational expense associated with core infrastructure management.

Results from industry surveys have shown a 30 to 50% reduction in operational expenditures associated with the ongoing management of a Vblock System over the “business as usual” approach required for separate server and storage implementations.[footnote]IDC White Paper: Convergence with Vblock Systems: A Value Measurement September 2013.[/footnote] The VCE release compatibility matrix (RCM) maintains tested and validated quality assurance, coupled with our world-class customer support service provides the emerging imperative of converged infrastructure to the enterprise.

The evidence is in, the market has spoken and the results are documented. The key question becomes not if customers are moving to a converged infrastructure application platform, but how their converged infrastructure will evolve their organization, improve agility, simplify operations, reduce costs and elevate IT’s status within the enterprise.

About the Author: Mark Daus