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Abstract cloud storage (done in 3d)

Does the future of the cloud lie in converged infrastructure?

As cloud computing gains in popularity seemingly every day, it’s our natural tendency to look toward the future for where the technology might be headed. The growth of the cloud has largely been due to the benefits it provides as well as the relative ease with which organisations are able to implement it.

It’s clear that businesses will come to rely more heavily on the cloud, whether they choose a private or public option, but other than further reliance, what’s next for cloud computing? Many experts are predicting that cloud growth will fully intersect with another trend: converged infrastructure. While it may not get the same headlines as cloud computing, converged infrastructure (CI) offers plenty of its own benefits which, when used for virtualised environments, make it an indispensable tool and strategy for any business willing to give it a shot.

As more and more companies start using cloud platforms, they’re finding that the platforms come with certain demands. One of the most pressing is the need to build a platform efficiently, while also still using hardware that can handle increased workloads and high user demand, all while employing advanced resource controls. Though adopting a cloud in the beginning isn’t too big of a challenge, these needs can quickly crop up, requiring organisations to find more efficient ways to work with an increasingly complex infrastructure. For those reasons, converged infrastructure begins to make more sense and transforms into a sound strategy for rapidly deploying new platforms.

In fact, it’s this rapid deployment that makes CI particularly attractive. Companies and vendors have come up with handy “cloud-in-a-box” platforms that organisations can purchase and integrate with ease when compared to the more labor and resource intensive alternatives. This approach comes with its own set of benefits. Those advantages include easy scalability that allows businesses to expand or contract depending on changing conditions, greater availability of intelligent storage options that come with deduplication and compression, and built-in optimisations that maximise the effectiveness of individual companies based upon what work they need done.

With these advantages, it’s clear why many organisations would want to test out converged infrastructure. If anything, CI represents part of the future of cloud because it acts as an effective and easily managed complement to cloud computing. Cloud data centers have become highly influential but also complex, and any technology that can make data center services easier to handle will likely grow in popularity with it. That’s what makes CI so appealing — it solves some of the complications that crop up when businesses use virtualised infrastructure. This problem solving feature makes CI a valuable technology any business would want to have.

Though hyper converged infrastructure has a lot to offer, many businesses are still reluctant to embrace it. The prevailing thought among those who are hesitant to adopt CI is that they feel they are not ready for the technology. In many cases, however, even if they feel like they aren’t prepared for CI, they may have little choice. Several trends show that the use of cloud platforms is increasing along with its workloads. According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, 78 percent of workloads with be processed by cloud data centers by 2018. The workload density, or amount of work each server will need to do, will also increase significantly. This increasing complexity and strain will require the simplification of infrastructure management, meaning converged infrastructure might be the best option for businesses that want to continue to use the cloud.

Ultimately, many experts are predicting that the future of the cloud will be based on building blocks, and the use of CI makes those blocks easy to implement and maintain. As the amount of work on the cloud increases, more companies are figuring out that converged infrastructure is needed to get the most out of it. Organisations are coming to a greater understanding of the benefits of using CI, and while a degree of unease may still exist, businesses should become more comfortable with converged infrastructure as time goes on.


About the Author:

Rick Delgado is a technology commentator and writer.

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