The converged infrastructure market is continuing to grow at pace that far exceeds the overall infrastructure market. According to IDC, the converged market size grew well beyond $10B in revenue in 2014 and will reach nearly $15B by 2017.
Along with the growth of the market, converged architecture itself is evolving rapidly. While first generation converged solutions were focused mainly on offering superior time-to-production, the new generation of solutions is focused also on offering significant improvements in operating value:
- Generation one solutions offered pre-built and pre-tested systems that become operational much faster than conventionally built systems
- Second generation converged solutions offer faster mean-time-to resolution, simpler and faster ways to provision and increment resources, and higher degree of automation in areas such as systems management (for instance, automated firmware upgrades).
Hyper-converged solutions are second generation converged systems designed to improve time to production and increase operational value. Solutions like Nutanix and VMware EVO:RAIL offer both better time to production (EVO systems can be production ready in minutes) and more efficient operations.
IDC breaks datacenter workloads into two categories: ‘Volume’ and ‘Value’. As the converged market matures, solutions are evolving from monolithic systems to specialized architectures designed specifically to address the needs of each of these workload categories:
- Using commodity components and designed for easy set-up and scalability, hyper-converged solutions are designed for Volume type workloads, such as web- and IT-infrastructure and collaboration
- Converged solutions designed to run Value workloads on which enterprises run their most business and mission-critical workloads require enterprise-class architecture that can meet stringent availability and performance SLAs
Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) is a second generation converged solution family built with Hitachi enterprise-class blade-servers and storage and best in class Brocade and Cisco switches. UCP has been deployed by hundreds of financial, telco, and manufacturing companies and in other segments where customers depend on it for the life blood of their busineses. UCP Director is the management and orchestration tool for UCP. Natively integrated with VMware vCenter and vRealize Operations Manager as well as with Microsoft System Center, UCP Director is a single-pane of glass software tool for managing the entire converged stack. It enables fast meantime to resolutions, and offers automations in areas such as data protection, provisioning and firmware upgrades (watch this video to learn more).
The Hitachi UCP family of converged solutions has been expanded to include new models designed specifically for Volume or Value workloads:
- New UCP 6000 optimized for enterprise-class Value workloads, like Oracle data base and SAP
- UCP 4000 and UCP 4000E for enterprise-class virtualized and cloud Value workloads
- New UCP 2000, a flexible and customizable mid-range converged optimized for Volume IT workloads, such as dev/test and web applications
- And the new UCP 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL, a hyper-converged software defined data center building block based on VMware software, for Volume workloads
The evolution of converged solutions from monolithic design to an architecture at the core of the software defined IT will accelerate in the coming years as the promise of new technologies, such as software containers and micro-services mature and begin to deliver even greater flexibility and performance.