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Composable Infrastructure: evolution beyond convergence

johncummings

BY GARY THOME, VP & Chief Engineer, HPE Converged Datacenter Infrastructure 

Gary Thome.jpgBy now regular readers of this blog are aware of all the industry buzz around Composable Infrastructure. I see this new category of infrastructure as the next step beyond convergence. 

Both converged systems and composable infrastructure integrate compute, storage, and network fabric into a single solution. But here's where they begin to diverge.

Converged Infrastructure was developed to simplify the physical packaging, purchasing, and integration of disparate components. This was important, because often the integration was sufficiently complex that many organizations preferred not to take this effort on themselves.

Converged systems handle this integration for IT. However, since the vendor selects the combinations of components, the syegstems must necessarily be pre-configured and pre-optimized for specific workloads or workload categories. This has the advantage of getting up-and-running for a target workload very quickly. But it can also lead to a need for different kinds of converged systems for different kinds of workloads. While the traditional silos of servers, storage, and networks may be combined, new silos around workloads can get created.

Composable Infrastructure: road to simplicity

Composable Infrastructure works completely differently.  Rather than requiring vendor-driven integration choices of Power blocks.FB.jpgcomponents, Composable Infrastructure is designed to enable easy combination of elements.  In fact the word “integration” doesn’t really apply at all.  There is no need to integrate composable elements together.  Rather, they already work seamlessly together by design. No system integration needed.

With this new paradigm, IT can simply combine different kinds of resources into the sum that’s needed for a given application. This is the heart of what it means to be composable. The right amount of compute, storage, and fabric can be composed together to match the needs of an application. (For a quick overview of how it works, watch this short video: HPE Composable Infrastructure: Programmable IT for the new breed of applications.)

From this perspective, we can see that Converged Infrastructure and Composable Infrastructure are really almost opposite things. Converged Infrastructure pre-selects and pre-integrates specific combinations from the factory. In contrast, Composable Infrastructure enables IT organizations to define the infrastructure they need at the instant in time they need it. Even the names speak to this reality: “Converged” speaks to something that was done in the past – delivered to the customer already configured. In contrast, Composable speaks to future opportunities – the ability to create what is needed when it is needed. This brings a whole new level of flexibility and simplicity to IT.

I think it’s a pretty good idea.

To learn more about HPE’s approach to Composable Infrastructure, check out this video: Speed delivery of IT services with HPE Composable Infrastructure.

#Composable

Gary

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About the Author

johncummings

Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.

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