Converged Solutions: Are You in the Game or Still on the Sidelines?

IMPACT13 Sponsor: Arrow Electronics

VSPEX, Vblock, Flexpod, Pure, Matrix, Alpin. The options can make your head spin! There is no doubt that the “buzz” in the IT space around converged infrastructure is at an all-time high, but does that mean you should dedicate the time, resources and capital to implement this solution? We’d like to share some insights from the Arrow Electronics perspective, based on the trending we have seen in the marketplace, to help determine the best response to that question.

First, let’s start with how exactly you define “converged solutions” or “converged infrastructure.” IDC, in its special report on the subject, defines it this way: “Converged infrastructure systems comprise devices with systems and network-level resource control and automation software, and some combination of server, storage, and network hardware, sold as special SKUs and designed for general-purpose, distributed workloads.”

Okay, so what does all of that mean in plain English? That same IDC study concluded based, on the solution providers they surveyed, that converged solutions do solve a real need in today’s IT environment. But bridging the gap from “my company is aware/intrigued by converged solutions” to “my company is going to invest funding, resources and capital into data-center convergence” is the tricky part.

At Arrow, we have found in guiding solution providers through each step in the process that those who are successful in working with organizations around configuring and deploying converged solutions have a few things in common. At the very start, they are able to overcome some critical objections, such as:

  • My IT infrastructure is ready for a refresh, but why should I go the converged route versus the traditional “rip and replace” or a new set of separate components?
  • I have increasing demands on my IT organization (e.g., “bring your own device,” exponential storage demand, security threats, etc.), but how does converged infrastructure offer the best solution for our enterprise?
  • We are not in a position to completely revamp our data center. Can we invest in convergence, but do so in a stepped approach?

At the end of the day, we feel convergence is about leveraging best-in-breed technologies (such as VMware at the hypervisor level, Brocade or Juniper for the networking layer, x86 servers for the computing layer, and so on) that are optimized for maximum performance, reliability and manageability.

So, back to where we started: should you get into the game or remain on the sideline? At Arrow we would say, “why not both?” That’s because Arrow’s approach is to work with our solution providers’ and our own convergence experts to act as an extension of our client’s organization, helping to architect, scope, configure and deliver robust converged offerings. We have resources to assist the client’s IT resources in any area needing assistance. But in the end, if convergence is not the chosen route, the amount of time and energy invested would have been minimal.

In closing, we welcome your questions or comments around converged solutions. Please feel free to contact Jeff Lampe at jlampe@arrow.com. Game on.

By Pete Koliopoulos, Vice President of Marketing, North America Enterprise Computing Solutions, and Jeff Lampe, Director of Marketing, North American Storage, Security, Virtualization and Networking Group, Arrow Electronics

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