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Vendor-agnostic performance management simplifies converged infrastructures

By Gabriel Cortes, Service Delivery Manager

Converged infrastructures aren’t anything too new in principle. In practice, though, the concept is one to which IT departments have adjusted slowly. It hasn’t been an issue of converged systems lacking utility for enterprise IT so much as a pretty major paradigm shift with massive amounts of moving parts. As infrastructure convergence gained speed, though, IT decision-makers tried to get ahead of the inevitable snags that accompany any new technology. Proponents and manufacturers of converged infrastructures hailed the ability of the systems to essentially click into place and start cranking.

But, as simple as a pre-integrated infrastructure seems, the systems are comprised of a multitude of disparate components. Even though it all seems like an ideal fit, there’s a clear issue awaiting when it’s time to address any kind of latency extension or other performance issue. Pre-integrated performance monitoring tools may struggle to identify systemwide problems. When any aspect of an infrastructure relies on the output of a number of different sources, infrastructure performance management (IPM) needs to see through the lines separating each layer of the stack.

Vendor-agnostic platforms for multi-vendor, converged systems

Any IT department considering converged infrastructure has a number of options available to them. EMC, HP and other major players in enterprise IT have unveiled and constantly improved their offerings. At this stage, the amount of activity and performance data these systems produce grows tremendously every day. Information and statistics from wires, machines and other pieces all influence the diagnosis of the unavoidable hiccups in performance.

However, this type of data doesn’t really paint the full picture. To understand any problems, IT workers need information from every component to make decisions since the system’s ultimate performance depends on all of them. They need to see from one end of the stack to the other to identify the causes of bottlenecks. All of these components share available resources, and efficient utilization informs the overall infrastructure’s success. Truly vendor-neutral monitoring and optimization ensure there are no wasted resources, optimizing performance of the system.

Leaner, more agile IT teams

Freeing workers from having to build out every aspect of the infrastructure means they can spend time on tasks that support the enterprise directly. However, realizing this benefit only occurs with platforms and solutions in place to keep the infrastructure operating as efficiently as is required. IT isn’t just a support system for the rest of the company anymore, so IT decision-makers and leaders need to invest in technologies that give workers the availability needed to make IT a true asset for the entire business.

Converged infrastructures alleviate a number of problems in IT. However, like any other component of overall IT operations, it can’t have its desired impact on the company without the necessary solutions in place to maximize its functionality and value.

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