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Will converged, hyper-converged and super-converged systems lead to the demise of stand-alone servers?

Q:

Will converged, hyper-converged and super-converged systems lead to the demise of stand-alone servers?

A:

Converged and now hyper-converged and super-converged systems are emerging significantly as a new framework for business IT architectures.

With converged systems, there’s a focus on consolidating multiple aspects of a technology architecture. Hyper-convergence and super-convergence build on this model: super-converged systems integrate network, storage, compute, virtualization and management components into one overarching platform. Similarly, hyper-converged systems typically integrate networking, computing, storage and virtualization resources into a single system.

Some of the major benefits of these systems involve consolidating platforms for performance and storage, connecting part of a process to make it more universal, and continuing to decrease the investment and maintenance burdens for hardware and software systems in general.

Converged, super-converged and hyper-converged systems can make it easier to back up data, may assist in handling bottlenecks, and can decrease costs in IT. All of this makes the converged, hyper-converged and super-converged models likely to take over the industry, to a significant extent.

Much like the trends toward software as a service and cloud technologies, converged, super-converged and hyper-converged systems seem to be catching on across most industries for the above reasons. Where software as a service and cloud eliminated the need for buying software out of a box and wrestling with drivers and physical compact discs, converged and hyper-converged systems eliminate the need to manually tie storage to operations and deal with external storage facilities for data. Experts describe convergence and hyper-convergence as a “plug-and-play” model, one that breaks down silos and makes larger IT systems much easier to manage.

At the same time, like other innovations, converged, super-converged and hyper-converged models may not lead to the total elimination of standalone server setups. One case is where a system is small enough not to benefit as much from the principles of convergence – where small-business systems may be able to run quite well on a standalone basis. Another case would be where systems have been set up deliberately to achieve “retro” or historical operations. Some IT people will still see benefits in constructing standalone server systems from the perspective of handling and maintaining data requests. So although converged and hyper-converged systems, along with super-converged systems, may be replacing standalone server systems at a rapid rate, it's unlikely for that takeover to be completely universal, at least anytime soon.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.
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