Composable Infrastructure refers to the system formed by disintegrating the various components (compute, storage, and networking) of the data center IT infrastructure and integrating them in different ways, in order to cater the needs of specific workloads. Composable infrastructure enables a completely integrated data center architecture, with highly abstracted resources, software-defined functionality controlled by powerful platforms and in which APIs enable disparate environments to function as a single, fluid pool of resources.
Major functions of composable infrastructure include optimize existing hardware for long time, manage compute, storage, and fabric as a fluid pool of resources, support “Infrastructure as Code”, support granular visibility and reporting, and facilitate integration of app and management functionality.
The traditional siloed datacenter architectures are unable to provide flexibility required by business critical applications of modern world. Additionally, increasing number of IT enterprises are shifting to DevOps methodology for application development, which requires an agile infrastructure to keep up with the rapidly evolving application demands and often uses an “infrastructure as code” approach to optimize allocation of resources.
The concept of composable infrastructure is gaining steam throughout the IT industry, as it provides ways to disintegrate infrastructure to the point at which applications can quickly compile and reconfigure IT infrastructure to accomplish tasks swiftly, along with minimum amount of resource consumption.
Major factors expected to drive the growth in adoption of composable infrastructure are – increase in business analytics workload, implementation of methodologies such as DevOps, increased customer expectations, rise of automation and standardization tools and emergence of hybrid cloud. Additionally, traditional “siloed” approach adds cost and complexity to the data center, and introduce challenges such as inconsistent application of security policies and data compliance, increased errors and time associated with manual and custom deployments, lack of granular visibility and limited infrastructure flexibility. In order to minimize these challenges, enterprises are moving towards composable infrastructure. Presently, only two vendors offer composable infrastructure for enterprises – Cisco and HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise). The solutions offered by both the companies are: HPE Synergy, Cisco M-Series.
However, with the concept of composable infrastructure being both evolutionary and of sufficient value, number of server infrastructure providers will bring composable infrastructure products to market over the next years. These vendors are expected to compete on number of differentiating factors such as number and size of the compute nodes, interfaces to the enterprise network environments, amount and configurability of the storage, and management environments.
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