Converged Data Center Infrastructure
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Building on the case of: “Why Converged Infrastructure Technologies are important”.

Rparker on ‎06-20-2014 08:42 AM

Guest Author:

Helen Tang, HP Converged Infrastructure WW Solution lead


I saw an interesting blog post recently written by Luigi Tiano from 1CloudRoad: Why Converged Infrastructure Technologies are important. The most fascinating aspect from this article that jumped out at me and I wanted to share was three quotes from a customer that Luigi had talked to. In a long conversation about the pros and cons of convergence, the customer who has a sizable data center investment said:


                 “With converged infrastructure, I could shrink my data center by almost 50 percent.”


                                “Now I would be able to deal with 1 vendor and make my vendor
                    management headaches go away. Now I only have 1 headache to deal with”


              “Now I just need to figure out how this converged infrastructure can slowly replace 
      the silos and technology which I currently have in my Data Center. That’s the initial challenge”


As many struggle with convergence questions, I thought it would be valuable to elaborate with my perspective regarding each of these statements:


#1: I could shrink my data center by almost 50%


I hear comments like this, a lot. The perpetual growth of data center space is a hug problem for many, not just because of physical floor space, but even more so due to power constraints. I’ve heard many customer bemoan they just got done with consolidation, but now that demand has increased, with new big data applications and what not, they are running out of space again!


In fact, I was just at a session at HP Discover where Scott Anderson, VP of HP Global IT – Compute Services talked about this exact problem. Ever increasing demand put a lot of pressure on Scott’s team for new compute / storage / networking capacity. Initially they threw HP Ecopods at the problem, but constantly adding new data center space at the rate of one Ecopod a year didn’t seem like a sustainable solution. About a year and half ago, when they started piloting some alpha hardware that became today’s HP Moonshot servers, a light bulb went off. With these hyper dense, extremely low energy servers, they are now serving all of’s traffic, a hefty 300 million hits per day on just 3 racks of moonshot servers. Now compare that to the previous environment with more traditional server, storage, and networking, the new solution is using less than a tenth of the floor space and a lot less power, equal to what you need to run a dozen 60-watt light bulbs. At the end of the session, Scott confidently said, HP won’t need to build another data center, ever again.


So yes, convergence can definitely help with floor space and power issues, especially if you leverage HP’s latest Moonshot solutions.



#2: Now I only have one headache to deal with.


Hopefully vendor management is not a problem for any of HP’s customers. We certainly constantly strive to be the easiest vendor to work with, on any project large and small. But this touches on an important aspect. As a marketing person, I’m going to spin the words into a more positive phrase – single throat to choke. Okay, that imagery may not seem any more positive than the headache phraseology, but trust me, people really do appreciate it. Since all my hardware that’s in my integrated system comes from a single vendor – HP, there is no finger pointing should something go wrong. HP provides me with one number to call and those experienced service specialists will get to the bottom of it, no more finger pointing between vendors!


Maybe some of you will say, putting all my eggs in one basket, isn’t that risky? Well, this is exactly the reason why you need to be very careful in selecting your convergence vendor. More so than a vendor, this is really going to be your strategic partner for the next 5-10 years. There are some very important selection criteria to think through. Luckily a lot of IT analyst firms have done some of this hard thinking, and have come up with very good check lists. Luigi listed a few in his blog post, from Gartner group. Also check out this newsletter from HP that combines a 12 questions checklist from Gartner and how HP addresses each of the areas.


To close this topic out, I’ll leave you with another quote from a CIO I talked to. This gentleman said: “You guys always talk about convergence as a journey, but to me, it’s more like a leap off a cliff. That’s why I need a partner that’s going to hold my hand the whole time and ensures that I land safely. This is why I chose HP”.



#3: I need to figure out how to slowly replace the silos in my data center


That is always a big challenge. Not that those of us in IT are hoarders, but we kind of are, with a mish mash of technologies purchased over the years, all with very good reasons at the time I’m sure, but resulting in some serious sprawl years down the road.


This is a really good time to not go at it alone, consulting services or a workshop can really help you build a sound plan that will help you modernize over a timeframe that fits your IT and business priorities. This quick little video gives you an idea of what it does: Data Center Transformation Workshop.


Coming out of such a workshop, you’ll be armed with a custom roadmap that shows exactly how you can go from your current situation to a ‘converged’ future.



That concludes today’s blog post. Thanks again to Luigi for writing such an informative article, and we’d love to hear your comments on these three topics we just discussed! Or, I invite you to check out more about what HP Converged Infrastructure can do for you (... the converged technologies, the HP ConvergedSystem, and the supporting Converged Infrastructure Services)




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