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March 2013, Volume 2, Number 3

Comparing popular converged infrastructure products

The market for converged infrastructure is growing rapidly as IT departments small and large decide that IT complexity is bad. Options from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Cisco Systems, VCE and NetApp attempt to reduce acquisition and operational costs, consolidate networking, increase manageability, decrease time to deployment, cut storage costs and reduce power consumption. Converged platforms get their name from combining storage, networking and compute resources into one easy-to-manage, easy-to-acquire unit. They all traditionally offer a single pane of glass for management, or at least a single management model, and support for converged solutions usually comes through a single vendor. Beyond that, though, the similarities end. Some options may use converged networking techniques such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet or iSCSI to access storage, while others use traditional, separate Fibre Channel switches. Some may have preset quantities of storage and compute while others let you customize heavily, designing a system that meets...

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