As it turns out, there isn’t a single converged solution architecture, but many different approaches to convergence and hyper convergence. Convergence across the the SDx infrastructure is happening across many different vectors, with individual applications optimized for a unique mix of networking, storage, and compute functionality.
For example, a hyperscale Web platform might be focused on serving messaging, video, and content. A service provider hosting business applications may have different different needs. ‘Webscale’ platforms have more traffic internal to their data center, giving them unique intra-datacenter networking requirements (more on that in sections about Facebook and Google below).
Let’s look at some of the detailed converged infrastructure architectures proposed by the converged infrastructure players and webscale players, as well as where deployment is happening.
Architectural Variations of Converged Data Center Solutions
The future converged data center will include a wide range of physical infrastructure for the, including converged appliances, new classes of servers, and storage and networking equipment. The value is in the software running and managing this collection of COTS or near-COTS hardware.
It’s best to look at a converged solution as a basket of different hardware functions supported by software management. Converged data center infrastructure solutions are typically sold as an integrated offering that consists of the following components:
- Server Functionality
- Networking Functionality
- Storage Functionality
- Management Software
The capabilities of each of these components varies based on the vendor and their approach to the market. This explains the varying terminology ranging from semi-converged to hyper converged as vendors make decisions about how much functionality to pack into one product offering.