What is a Converged Infrastructure?
A converged infrastructure is a type of platform that provides for the delivery of different types of communications services over the same basic platform. A basic infrastructure that is converged would create an Internet Protocol (IP) platform that would provide the efficient transmission of voice, data, and video over that network. There are several benefits of a converged infrastructure solution, including the easier management of the communication services, as well as considerable cost savings to the business.
Since a converged infrastructure involves the use of unified computing strategies to create and make the most efficient use of the platform, a business that is just starting up will want to consider this option very closely. This prevents the need to purchase the hardware and software necessary to create stand-alone solutions that are more in line with the older techniques. By being able to manage everything from telephone services to data transfer between departments and to employees working offsite without the need for a lot of hardware, the company can save a great deal of money, control communications through the single conduit, and even establish more efficient backup processes than would be possible otherwise.
While a converged infrastructure does save money, it can be somewhat expensive to migrate from an older platform to the new unified platform at one time. For this reason, many established businesses adopt a model of incrementally moving certain communication processes onto the new IP platform when and as it become prudent to do so. For example, a company may initiate the platform for data transmission only, then add voice communications to the platform when the older hardware begins to fail and is in need of replacement. Over time, each of the communication tools are loaded onto the IP platform and integrated with the other tools previously associated with the network. This approach also helps to keep disruption at a minimum, sometimes with a transition that is so seamless that employees using the communication tools are unaware of the migration.
The development of a converged infrastructure is usually overseen by the Information Technology team, using methods of IT infrastructure that are adapted to the unique circumstances of the business. Effective IT management will help to ensure that downtime with the platform is kept to a minimum, and that backup systems are in place and ready to initiate in the event that the primary or main platform should experience some sort of catastrophic failure. When designed properly, a converged infrastructure provides a high level of efficiency for a relatively low cost, something that is very attractive to any size or type of business.
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