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The case for composability


 In a recent article, Senior Vice President and GM of HPE Converged Data Center Ric Lewis.jpgInfrastructure, Ric Lewis, outlined the business need for composable infrastructure, as well as the benefits it brings to the data center.

Lewis begins with what exactly “composable” means. “Composable infrastructure is a single package comprising three pieces: a new kind of hardware, a software intelligence to control it, and a single API to interact with it,” he says. The first piece, the hardware, turns the core elements of the data center—compute, storage and networking fabric — into pools of resources that can easily be assembled or composed to fit the needs of any application. “All three elements are designed from the ground up to work together as one. They can be deployed in any kind of operating environment, be it bare-metal, virtualized, or containerized,” he explains.

The next piece of the composable puzzle, the native software intelligence, provides a single management interface and handles complexity behind the scenes, making the whole system software-defined. And lastly, the API enables us to communicate very simply and easily with the infrastructure, “turning tasks like provisioning infrastructure for a new application into the equivalent of one click: a single line of code,” says Lewis. The API also plugs into DevOps tools like Ansible, Chef, Docker and Puppet, so that developers can utilize the infrastructure using the tools they may already have and be familiar with.

“That’s it. Sounds simple, and in essence it is, however dazzling the underlying technology may be,” says Lewis. “But that simplicity enables CIOs to address one of the Untitled.pngbiggest challenges they face today: how to find an efficient way to meet the infrastructure demands of the new breed of applications based on mobile, cloud, big data technologies.”

As Lewis points out, the rise of next-gen apps puts CIOs in a bind. It calls for super-flexible, development-friendly infrastructure that you can set up quickly and change easily and often to adapt to your business’ needs. “But how to provide that while continuing to ensure total reliability for the mission-critical, don’t-mess-with-the-dials applications—enterprise resource planning, databases, email—where constant change is the last thing you want?” asks Lewis.

The answer businesses often find is to keep the usual on-premises setup for the traditional applications and turn to the big public cloud providers for the new breed of applications. But IT leaders have a long list of reasons to want to keep data on-premises: security, compliance, performance, ease of data-sharing across applications. “Cost is a factor too; you can easily run up big bills if you have a large amount of traffic going on public cloud,” Lewis says.

Composable infrastructure neatly resolves this problem by supporting both the traditional and the new environments. On the traditional IT side, composability offers more benefits in addition to the stability that’s needed for legacy apps. “It’s not unusual for companies to overprovision their traditional infrastructure by 70 percent or more because they want to be ready for peak loads,” says Lewis. “Composable infrastructure spreads spare capacity across all of the applications running in the datacenter and makes it instantly available, so it reduces cost immediately by reducing the need to Untitled2.pngoverprovision.” Adding to the cost savings is the speed with which composability allows you to stand up new hardware—just one line of code and three minutes.

Lewis concludes with a bit of advice for businesses looking to composable infrastructure for answers. “As the concept of composable gains traction in the market, vendors will be climbing on board in increasing numbers, and it’s important to know whether what they’re claiming as composability is the real thing,” says Lewis. “Make sure what you’re getting is true composability.” (If you missed it, check out this infographic for some pointers.)

To read Lewis’ full article, click here. And for more information on composable infrastructure, or HPE Synergy powered by Intel® (the industry’s first infrastructure built from the ground up for composability) check out these resources:

How the Right Infrastructure Can Prepare Your Data Center for Business Disruptors
Building a Bridge to the 3rd Platform with HPE Composable Infrastructure
Achieving the Speed and Agility of Cloud Giants


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