Research Report: The Virtual Public Sector

The Business Case for Converged Infrastructure

The business of IT is getting more complicated every year as users require on-demand resources that are secure, bug-free and easy to use. That translates into a lot of IT staff time spent on routine tasks such as integration, provisioning and management. According to IDC, IT staffs spend most of their time on tasks such as monitoring, troubleshooting, patching, configuration management, and remediation, leaving them very little time to do anything else. That’s a drain on resources—both human and monetary.

What IT departments want—and what converged infrastructure can provide—is more efficiency and automation in the tasks necessary to keep IT up and running. They also want a simpler, scalable, flexible, secure and modular approach to IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure combines storage, server, networking components and management software into one integrated system.

Simplified management: The nature of converged systems simplifies management through automation and workload optimization. The all-in-one approach comes with a common management platform across the server, storage and networking components that can handle most issues. The management platform handles everything from deployment, provisioning and monitoring to patch and firmware updates.

Greater efficiency: According to IDC, IT staff typically spend most of their time with routine tasks such as management, provisioning, monitoring and patching. With a converged infrastructure, these tasks are automated and centrally managed. This not only takes a large burden off of IT staff, but speeds up the provisioning process, which in turn makes employees more efficient. And the converged infrastructure itself is much faster to set up. According to a survey from Enterprise Strategy Group, half of organizations were able to install and configure a converged system in three days or less, while 92 percent were able to do it in five days or less.

Lower cost: By improving data center efficiency through automated lifecycle maintenance and using less power and cooling resources, agencies can drastically reduce costs. In addition, the modular approach means that the cost of spinning up a new infrastructure is lower, because agencies no longer have to overbuy compute and storage to ensure there will be enough to cover all potential needs. Converged systems can be scaled out one server at a time—an economically attractive approach.

Reduced risk: With converged infrastructure, security applications can be installed faster and updated more easily. In addition, converged infrastructures have been a boon for disaster recovery and high availability; many include native backup and recovery tools, deduplication and compression of backup data, virtual machine- and datastore-level data protection, native replication functionality and WAN optimization.

Enabler of modernization: As agencies work hard to keep up with changing technology trends and requirements, they are finding that the converged infrastructure is a valuable tool. Not only does it enhance virtualization of production workloads, but it puts agencies on a clear path to cloud service delivery.