Data Center Convergence Needs to Be Platform Independent

Michael Vizard

There's a lot of talk these days about data center convergence, mostly in the form of system manufacturers promoting their approach to integrated servers or a platform-specific set of systems management tools.

But when you take a step back and consider the goals of the IT organization, any approach to unifying servers, switches and storage under a common management framework that is heavily weighted to one hardware provider is probably not the best way to go. Even if that vendor today has the best technology available, chances are pretty high that no vendor will be able to maintain technical superiority over the long haul.

This is why companies such as Liquid Computing and eGenera are finally starting to gain some real notice. With vendors such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Intelicloud all touting the merits of data center convergence, a lot of attention is now being paid to reducing the real cost of computing in the data center. But as IT organizations continue to investigate the emerging technologies that make that possible, they are discovering the merits of a platform-neutral approach toward data center convergence.

Of the two, Liquid Computing is the more neutral in terms of alliances, while eGenera has aligned itself pretty closely with Dell. But in either instance, an IT organization can deploy a dedicated appliance that serves as a foundation for creating a unified fabric for managing all the major components of the data center.

Regardless of which approach an IT organization decides to take, the way we think about managing the data center is about to be transformed. At the very least, we'll soon see much tighter integration across the management of servers, switches and storage. That may ultimately lead to a realignment of the personnel we use to manage the data center. But in any case, the productivity of the people managing the data center should increase in almost direct inverse proportion to the drop in that actual cost of running it.



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