Unified Computing Can Help Your Company’s Cloud Platforms. A Global Cloud Index Report published by Cisco points out that the global data center IP traffic could grow by as much as 2.8 times over the next five years. That’s nearly a 300% jump over the current levels. The average workload density of a cloud data center, measured as workload per physical server, is set to grow from 5.2 in 2013 to 7.5 by 2018. As cloud-based data centers prolierate in popularity over the next few years, there is an increasing need for an infrastructure setup that is much more sophisticated than current levels.
It is here that unified computing can come handy. For the uninitiated, unified computing (also known as converged infrastructure) is primarily a data center architecture that combines the power of traditional computing hardware with cloud, virtualization and networking and storage resources to create a single unit that can be deployed on-demand. It was made popular by Cisco’s announcement in 2009 and is today a product available across major vendors like EMC, HP, Sun to name a few.
The past decade has seen an upsurge in the use of cloud computing and this has made the cost of doing business quite lower. But it has also been a decade of an upsurge in data demand and resource consumption. It has thus been a cat-and-mouse game between new infrastructure being built and them being made inadequate through a demand surge. Virtualization is often regarded as a solution, but that does not help when the load on the back-end infrastructure is already at its peak.
The need of the hour is a setup that can seamlessly raise the infrastructure bandwidth on demand. What converged infrastructure does is that it integrates the technology silos into an adaptive pool that can be accessed by multiple applications – this way, whenever demand peaks, additional resources can be pooled in without much delay or investment. This is not only efficient, but also as easy on the wallets.
Cloud based networking and communications are already being provided as a managed service by companies like AllStream in North America. With deployment of converged infrastructure, data centers too could be offered as a managed service by vendors. This is win for customers both from the perspective of cost as well as efficiency in offering their service to the consumers.
Unified computing is already being used by the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon. These companies use node-based server platforms that can scale up really fast during peak demand. According to Nutanix, the company that provides this service, their platform is sold as a “cloud in a box” solution that provides customers with everything they need along with on-demand scaling of an environment that is virtualization-ready.
As the Cloud Index Report from Cisco shows, the demand for resources is on the rise. With the availability of such cost-efficient solutions, the next decade should see a huge proliferation of converged infrastructure. This is the only way to meet demand without robbing the bank. What are your thoughts?