The Business Case for Composable Infrastructure
April 11, 2017

Perry Szarka

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What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today.

Sometimes thought of as "software-defined in a box," a composable infrastructure virtualizes the entire compute environment and manages its resources as if they were services. This makes a composable infrastructure both flexible and agile enough to deliver true digital transformation, yet allows IT to continue to manage legacy applications from within a single architecture.

While this may seem like the answer to all of your headaches, there is no silver bullet. To help you decide if composable infrastructure is the right choice for your organization, it's important to understand the three most significant issues driving the need for change:

■ The traditional, legacy computing infrastructures most organizations have in place are simply not agile enough to meet today's fast-paced business demands.

■ Organizations are increasingly developing their own applications in house, yet legacy infrastructure cannot keep pace with development efforts.

■ Today's business users have consumer-like expectations for the availability of IT services – and that is putting significant pressure on IT.

While there's no single solution that will work for every organization, composable infrastructure may provide an answer for many. What many businesses need is a single solution that can address both today's bimodal IT model on the same platform at the same time – and composable infrastructure can do just that.

One of the most significant advancements in this area that we have seen is a composable infrastructure that brings together software-defined compute resources, software-defined storage and software-defined networking into a homogenous package with a single management interface. By completely abstracting the hardware, this kind of solution delivers the necessary compute, memory, storage and networking resources to accommodate individual applications automatically, without the involvement of multiple IT personnel.

When properly implemented, composable infrastructure can help propel an organization forward in its digital transformation, making it a truly service-defined enterprise. The key, however, is in determining if composable infrastructure is the best way to meet the business' needs.

To help organizations decide, it's important that a solution provider start with a thorough understanding of the company's business, then provide the client with a deep level of consulting, application rationalization, and an analysis of what is working and what isn't so they know where their own gaps exist. No matter who the solution provider is, this should all be taking place before any decisions about infrastructure are made. You have to start with the vision so you know where you are going and can map the best route to get there.

Read 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Composable Infrastructure

Perry Szarka is a Solution Architect at Logicalis US.

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