Hopefully by now you will have started to pick up some basic understanding about what HP is trying to drive around it's new Converged Infrastructure strategy. You will have read that IT sprawl is taking business performance to the breaking point and that 70% of most IT budgets are being spent on operations, and that a shrinking 30% is spent on innovation. This was neatly summarized recently by David Hughes, SAS Vice President International Sales, who stated, “it is going to be increasing more important to be able to leverage complexity as opposed to becoming a victim of it, in a cost constrained environment. This is a growing trend for SAS customers.” (Reference: Technology at Work press day, in Frankfurt Germany on April 26th, 2010).
HP Converged Infrastructure strategy attacks IT sprawl head on, as it takes an holistic approach to datacenter issues, enabling business to tackle the problems of application, server, storage and network which currently inhibits today’s business agility. For more information check out www.hp.com/go/ci
This is a great approach from HP, but what would a pessimistic view look like from an industry analyst perspective. Would the HP strategy hold up against what industry analysts are predicting? I had the opportunity to hear this POV from a leading industry analyst – Andy Butler from Gartner, who presented at the Technology at Work conference in Frankfurt Germany.
Andy summarized that the current datacenter – compute, storage and management are all seen as separate stacks by design. This has created multiple islands, all gated by physical clusters, each having very different limitations. This in turn as has led to slower, more siloed and costly deployments for IT to manage.
Andy defines change happening in the follow key areas:
- Virtualization – The engine room for infrastructure transformation
- Management Tools – The emerging battle ground for control and collaboration
- Infrastructure Convergence – built upon a fabrics based architecture
This fabrics based architecture will comprise of a set of compute, storage, memory and I/O components joined through a common Fabric interconnect.
A Fabrics based architecture will enable you to:
- Only buy what you need when you need them
- Wire once and reconfigure many times
- The capability to manage from a more holistic standpoint across the fabric
A prediction into the future
Andy predicted that by 2012, 30% of global 2,000 datacenters will be equipped with some fabric based bladed architecture
- Corollary 1. 90% of these Fabric systems will employ virtualization
- Corollary 2. 15% of these Fabric systems will be utilized for cloud infrastructures and Services (a gradual trend that will move into the datacenter over the next 5 – 10 years)
- Start now and assess the number of Server platforms you currently have within your datacenters
- Know what you have so you can start to plan around and prepare for a future Fabrics based computing environment
- Multiple influences are driving the server market towards an x86 architecture, with smaller forma factors and modular fabrics