The very nature of IT has been evolving over the past few years. For many organizations, IT has often been viewed as a cost center, a place to sink various amounts of money and resources that would eventually improve a company’s operations. That perspective has been undergoing a significant change with the rise of converged IT architecture and converged infrastructure. With this revolutionary transformation, IT is being looked at as more of a service provider, especially since so many components like servers, storage, and networks are combined into a single entity. Businesses the world over see the benefit of taking this approach and would like to build their own converged infrastructure or use the services of converged infrastructure vendors. The construction process, however, can get complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. For those aiming to move into converged infrastructure territory, these first steps are ones to pay attention to in order to make sure the journey goes smoothly.
It’s easy to say that your organization wants to adopt converged infrastructure, but do you really know why? CI brings with it numerous benefits, but you need to identify which ones are those you really want to focus on. That means picking a specific business goal you hope to achieve with the inclusion of converged infrastructure. Knowing the end goal can help you figure out what kind of road to travel in order to get there. In essence, this all comes down to having the right plan in place before you even begin to build your converged infrastructure solution. Without a plan, you’ll have a much more difficult time figuring out what equipment to purchase, what skills to have on hand, and what the next step is.
Planning usually involves various meticulous details that can help CI adoption proceed steadily and without major complications. Once you know what workloads converged infrastructure will handle, you’ll be able to know if you’ll be working with physical servers or virtual machines. You’ll also have a more concrete idea of the size of converged infrastructure you’ll need as well as the type of database you will be working with.
All of this makes the process of provisioning resources much easier. In this way, you’ll know where to place those resources, what role they will play, and how best to optimize them. This is especially useful for organizations where IT budgets may be tight or limited. Using more resources than you actually need can lead to waste, which can in turn be quite costly for your company. If you’re able to practice excellent resource management for your CI plans, you’ll quickly find that the resulting architecture will function more efficiently.
These are, of course, the technical steps that you’ll need to consider, but other steps shouldn’t be ignored. More specifically, how the entire organization's functions may need to be rethought and changed for converged infrastructure to reach its potential. Most companies suffer from organizational silos, where data is solely contained in its own separate divisions. This makes collaboration across the organization difficult and time-consuming. By changing the company mindset and adopting more of a shared use model, those silos can be torn down to enable converged infrastructure to work better.
Breaking down these separate silos also leads to the need to standardize all of your new converged systems. This enables faster deployment whenever a solution is needed to a pressing problem. Also of note is the need to optimize these systems, essentially allowing multiple workloads to run in the same environment within the same infrastructure. As this often leads to more efficient performance, it’s a desirable step. But one of the most important steps comes after architecture has been standardized and optimized. This step is automation, and it’s usually one of the end goals for companies looking to adopt converged infrastructure. With automations, whole applications can be deployed in only a matter of minutes.
While converged infrastructure may be the technology to aim for, if you start out poorly, the whole strategy may end up backfiring. That’s why you need to know what some of the beginning steps are. In this way, you’ll be more prepared for converged infrastructure’s challenges and benefits.