Infrastructure study

Leveraging converged infrastructure to drive business agility

Mark Thurmond
Infrastructure image via Shutterstock

A recent IDC study has shown that a converged infrastructure can bring cost reductions and organisational benefits for IT teams. Mark Thurmond from VCE takes a look at the latest findings in IT infrastructure.

A converged infrastructure directly helps your bottom line by making your IT staff more efficient. It’s more cost-effective, makes IT more agile, reduces time spent on system maintenance, and increases overall IT performance.

These are all very real benefits, as IDC revealed in a recent study based on interviews with 16 VCE customers. Here’s what the study found.

It should come as no surprise that today’s IT infrastructure has to be more flexible, scalable, and adaptable. As corporate circumstances change in a dynamic market, IT has to match them by making its own changes quickly and effectively. IT departments must make it easier to deliver new applications, add new features and functionality, and scale infrastructure quickly — both up and down — as demands change.

To seize these opportunities, organisations have to fully embrace the cloud as a mechanism to deliver IT resources, going beyond merely cloud-based computing to provide higher-level services such as databases and applications. As IDC said in its report, “By working with higher-level application and cloud development platforms, VCE is positioning itself as a provider of turnkey cloud service development platforms for new business innovation.”

Cloud and converged infrastructure benefits

A lot has been written about the benefits of using the cloud in general and about converged infrastructure specifically. But we wanted to see if we could actually measure these benefits in terms of spend, staff time and other hard numbers.

We found plenty of evidence. For example, organisations interviewed for the IDC study said:

  • 4.6 times more apps were developed/delivered last year
  • 41 percent less time was spent keeping the lights on
  • New services/products got to market 4.4 times faster and,
  • they experienced 96 percent less downtime.

That is a big drop in time, which companies can better spend elsewhere, doing more productive tasks. But the improvements aren’t just about getting servers online faster. Applications were deployed in 66 percent less time and application devevelopment lifecycles were 55 percent faster. This directly translates to a more productive IT staff that, as result, should become more responsive to your end users too.

IDC found that companies that used to spend 78 percent of their time and budgets just keeping the lights on cut that time to 46 percent. This frees up staff time to implement new projects and create new products. IDC found that Vblock’s converged infrastructure turns IT resources into more of a commodity that can be more easily deployed. IT staffs need less effort to manage their servers, storage and networking workloads, and are also saving time in having to manage patching and software updates too.

This new-found productivity has a direct impact on downtime. Customers interviewed for this study reported 96 percent less downtime. The obvious point here: Converged infrastructure is more reliable. In some shops, downtime issues were completely eliminated since they deployed Vblock solutions. When was the last time you heard that story? Typically, more advanced technology is more trouble to maintain, but with converged solutions, that doesn’t seem to be the situation.

While converged infrastructure has some issues in terms of capital and increased training, these are minor when compared to the benefits and longer-term investments that it delivers.

As such, converged infrastructure is no flash in the pan. IDC predicts that IT departments will spend more than $10 billion this year on convergedinfrastructure systems, and will experience a healthy 27 percent growth rate in coming years to represent $14.3 billion in 2018.


Mark Thurmond

Mark Thurmond is Senior Vice President of Global Sales, VCE

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