For enterprises, it’s puzzling at times to select from the variety of storage options. For instance, what is converged storage and how is it distinctive from software-defined storage (SDS)?
What is Converged Storage?
Converged storage taps into the perks of virtualization. The converged storage definition is a scalable storage architecture that consolidates compute with storage. The need for a converged storage approach, according to HP, stems from “outdated technologies, rigid infrastructure and storage sprawl [that] hamper the ability of enterprises and mid-sized companies to capitalize on emerging applications.” The technological advances that prompted the converged storage platform include mobile computing, cloud computing, social media and big data. According to Gartner, “by 2021, more than 80 percent of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 30 percent today.”
The components of converged storage include reliance on x86 hardware as a price-conscious option for virtualization. Tom’s IT Pro describes three primary principles for converged storage: “standardized platforms, federated scale-out software, and converged management.” Converged storage can be software-defined, and is thus a type of SDS. However, classifying converged storage as SDS is not always accurate — it depends on if it uses software-defined networking (SDN) or hardware components.
Converged Storage and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a class of converged storage that takes storage capabilities a step further. HCI optimizes storage by merging networking with converged storage that is software-defined. Gartner’s research points to a spike in HCI sales. Its research finds that HCI “will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019.” Enterprises may use HCI to build an agile private cloud with enhanced security that also features the quick connection of the public cloud.