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Older data centers can rack up millions of dollars in unnecessary costs over time. Traditional servers are on the hook for cabling, cooling, and energy demands in addition to the need for speed and reliability. Today’s data growth rates can often exceed traditional server systems’ capacities for efficiency and performance.As a result, converged infrastructure is gaining traction in modern data centers. It provides options for consolidation, efficiency, and performance optimization. This handy FAQ will give you a quick overview of the current state of the landscape.• What is converged infrastructure? What are the networking benefits? Who are the top vendors? Are there alternatives? What is the asset recovery potential?

What is Converged Infrastructure?

Converged infrastructures employ modular, consolidated platforms. These platforms compute, store, and network across minimal amounts of hardware with ample redundancy. On the other hand, traditional data center architectures most employ multiple pieces of dedicated individual hardware to perform.This is where the costs of operating older equipment begin to multiply. Power must run to multiple devices at once, each with its own function. Devices take up more space, with cabling running to and from each unit and large silo-style cabinets stacking each piece. Often, energy is wasted on idling equipment that must remain powered on for storage or the support of other server devices.Converged infrastructure reduces the amount of excess space and power consumed by IT equipment. This saves money on long-term data center operations and optimizes performance. A single-vendor solution also facilitates compatibility and cuts down on the numbers of contracts and expenditures for IT maintenance services.

What are the networking benefits?

The networking element of converged infrastructure does not require a separate appliance to facilitate communication among multiple machines. Instead, networking takes place within a hypervisor system within the unit.Hypervisor systems, such as those developed by industry competitors VMware and Hyper-V, run directly on the main hardware of the server. This removes the need for any additional operating system or storage hardware in order to integrate multiple networks through the use of virtualization, whereby multiple virtual guest machines run on the original host machine.The system of virtualization and integration is in direct contrast with the older data center model of engineered systems, which required physical housing for network recipients rather than allowing networking to take place virtually.

Who are the top vendors?

It’s critical to weigh the specs across different products to find optimal equipment for any given purpose. The following is a breakdown of the most prominent vendors and their own technical specifications for the infrastructure they’ve put on the market.

VCE Vblock Solutions

VCE (recently rebranded as Dell EMC) is a mashup of tech giants VMware, Cisco, and EMC, offering the Vblock System.Vblock is rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable and favored products in the industry. The management, integration, and architecture of the Vblock makes implementation simple and less convoluted. VCE provides centralized support for the system, which employs VMware hypervisors for networking. The product starts with the entry level 100 model and increases in power through the 700 model, which can handle multiple workloads.Vblock is a pre-made system that requires minimal installation strategies, migrates workloads easily, and cuts down on IT costs. Because of the limitations on configurations, the company is able to release multiple updates and upgrades for its firmware and software.

NetApp FlexPod

NetApp created the reference architecture for its FlexPod but constructs and sells it through partner companies.The FlexPod provides a blueprint for the server setup and how to execute virtualization, networking, and storage. The device cross-checks for compatibility among its components, and utilizes FAS storage arrays. However, it requires multiple IT contracts for supporting the system through several different partner companies.

Cisco UCS

Cisco’s Unified Computing System was one of the first converged infrastructures to emerge.The company offers B-Series blades and C-Series rackmount systems, managed by Cisco’s native, built-in software, UCS Manager. Similarly to the Vblock system, UCS does not require the IT overhead typical of a data center, although it’s necessary to invest in Cisco Nexus switch infrastructure for converging networking. Support is more centralized as well, although the warranty is only good for three years.

Are there alternatives?

Essentially, converged infrastructure unifies multiple functions into one device that were once spread across multiple units. There are variations within the industry beyond conventional infrastructure. Engineered systems and the cloud are the most prominent.

Engineered Systems

Oracle offers a well-known engineered system in its lineup of technology. It is a highly customizable, multi-component platform that entails focusing on the support of highly specific applications and tailoring the system to those applications. On the other hand, more conventional converged infrastructure unifies applicability, performance, installation, and IT integration.With traditional converged infrastructure, it’s as simple as installing a piece of equipment, migrating information, and relying on centralized support for the entire ecosystem. Engineered systems may require drawing up multiple IT contracts that are to optimize each part of the system.Certain technology companies can benefit from the highly customizable nature of engineered systems. However, most businesses whose bottom line isn’t the data center itself need the simplicity, cost savings, and ease of maintenance of converged infrastructure.

Cloud Storage

Cloud-based technology is the focus of a lot of marketing hype and buzzword usage. Certainly, the cloud is beneficial for certain purposes. Free storage services like DropBox and Google Docs live in the cloud. But for the average business, it’s impractical to replace a server system with a cloud alone.Cloud computing is basically renting out a chunk of cyberspace for a recurring fee. This reduces the physical infrastructure of a data center and centralizes all the data. However, larger companies may find the overhead cost of renting within the cloud exceeds that of physical infrastructure. In spite of the inherent attractiveness of complete virtualization of servers, the reality is that the cloud is cost-inefficient, risky, and lacks absolute reliability.Converged infrastructure maintains a minimal physical presence of the data center with a fraction of the cost and consumption of the outdated data center model. It provides the reliability, protection, and support that a business needs.

What is the asset recovery potential?

Like any data center equipment, converged infrastructure has a lifespan, as well as the potential for continual improvements to the technology as the industry grows.Decommissioning for these compact products is a more cost-effective operation than traditional data center decommissions. The ITAD process involves less hardware and fewer components. It consolidates and simplifies the migration of information. This means businesses can spend less on the cost of ITAD service and receive a higher value return for the equipment.Many upgrades are already showing up in the market, particularly from leaders like Vblock. Considering the high demand for refurbished converged infrastructure units, it’s a smart investment to decommission converged infrastructure while it still holds maximum potential value.OceanTech can help you navigate the potential options for swift and secure asset recovery and replacement. Please get in touch and we’ll be happy to share our expertise with you.
Effective ITAD strategies for Data Centers

Effective ITAD strategies for Data Centers

In the ever-evolving landscape of data management, businesses frequently encounter the need to retire their data center hardware. Such scenarios often arise when companies decide to shut down all or part of a data center operation. The process of decommissioning a data center is riddled with logistical intricacies, and among these, planning for the disposition of retired assets stands out as a crucial aspect. The dismantling of data center equipment without a well-thought-out strategy for reuse, remarketing, or secure disposal can lead to a host of problems.

Enhance Risk Management with ITAD

Enhance Risk Management with ITAD

Organizations are rapidly transitioning their communication systems, data storage infrastructure, and administrative functions to the digital realm, all in pursuit of maintaining a competitive edge. However, this shift toward a technologically advanced world exposes companies to higher risks of cybersecurity threats and data breaches. In essence, your business’s sensitive data is vulnerable at any given moment. Therefore, a well-rounded risk management strategy must include a robust ITAD plan to mitigate your company’s overall risk.

Enhancing Data Center Sustainability Through ITAD

Enhancing Data Center Sustainability Through ITAD

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data center operations, sustainability has emerged as a paramount concern. One of the linchpins of this sustainability drive within data centers is the practice of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), a multifaceted process that plays a pivotal role in ensuring both ecological responsibility and data security.

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