It was Aristotle that first coined the phrase ‘the whole is more than the sum of its parts’ to explain why single parts connected to form one thing are worth more than if they’re used in silos.
Today, Aristotle’s thinking rings true for many things – and the modern data centre in particular.
The typical enterprise has a data centre built in silos of hardware to support a range of distinct applications. This distributed environment can be static and inflexible. It also means IT staff devote a large amount of time and resources to deploy, provision, and manage individual components.
The strain is growing as data centres age while an ever broader range of applications must coexist. Whether it’s legacy, web, collaboration, or business-critical applications. Test & development sandboxes and desktop virtualisation.
There’s also emerging applications to support. Big Data and business analytics. Mobile and social media, plus back-end consumer applications to name but a few. All of which are being virtualised to save on both operating (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX).
When coupled with cloud and business transformation imperatives, many firms are finding themselves at the centre of a perfect storm.
Little wonder that predesigned computing, networking, and storage building blocks have proved so popular. Especially when they’re optimised to lower initial design cost, simplify management, and ensure scalability and high levels of performance.
The emergence of converged infrastructure, in which the full stack of data centre technologies are combined into pre-engineered, tested, and supported systems that operate as a whole has redefined data centre design.
Much of the integration is performed by vendors who can offer all three system elements, or through a partnership of vendors. In all cases, the main aim is to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
We saw the value in integrated infrastructure systems when we launched the world’s first unified computing system (UCS) in 2009.