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convergenceIt wasn’t that long ago when, if you wanted to print, scan, copy, or fax a document, you needed a separate machine for each. Not long ago telephones were nothing more than voice transmission devices. And, up until the last several years, a data center consisted of separate boxes for computing, storage, networking – literally a myriad collection of hardware and software components.

Those days are over, too. At least for some savvy organizations.

You may have heard about the relatively new pre-built, pre-integrated systems known as converged infrastructure. And if you’ve read about IBM PureSystems then you’re familiar with Expert Integrated Systems. Converged infrastructure systems refer to the “integrated” benefits of PureSystems: compute, storage, networking, infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud all ready to go out of the box.

While there are many benefits one might intuit from the converged nature of these systems, it isn’t necessarily obvious how these systems can help an organization control IT costs until you stand the old in-house data center up next to the converged infrastructure data center and compare a few statistics.

For example, anyone who’s ever run a data center full of rack servers, networking, and storage devices knows how complicated configuring the system can be, particularly when you have to incorporate new hardware or software. According to Gartner, 50% of outages impacting mission-critical services through 2015 will be caused by changes in configurations and integrations.

IBM PureSystems

Let’s say you’re in the unfortunate 50%. Even if you can claim 99.0% uptime over the course of a year, that’s 3.65 days of downtime. Aberdeen projects that SMBs will lose an average of $8,581 per hour of downtime, and large enterprises will lose $686,250 per hour. With a converged infrastructure, 55% of those configuration tasks are history, along with 55% of possible downtime. That can add up to real savings pretty quickly.

But there’s more to integration-by-design than a convergence of components in one system. The IBM PureSystems family also features:

  • A complete infrastructure of application middleware, compute, storage, and networking resources
  • A selection of systems with a range of choices of architecture, operating system, and virtualization technologies that allow you to select the right foundation for your workload
  • Integrated security, based on decades of IBM experience and technology
  • Purposeful design–from hardware to application–that provides balanced performance and scalabilty

Tom Brey, PureFlex Chief Architect at IBM, warns that converged infrastructure means different things to different vendors. “There should be some level of automation… it should cover a broader scope …than simply one or two pieces of infrastructure. Before jumping in with any particular vendor of converged infrastructure, you should consider how this is going to not only integrate into your environment, but how is it going to leverage your existing IT investments…and how it will support your IT needs five to ten years down the road.”

Sound too good to be true? Talk to an IBM Business Partner in your locale and ask for a demo. To find a Business Partner that’s right for you, click here.

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Written by IBM BP Network