View Points >> Viewpoints

Christo Briedenhann, Riverbed Technology AfricaChristo Briedenhann, Riverbed Technology Africa

Hyper-convergence is a relatively new term, but ICT developments have been leading up to it for some time.

The convergence of voice and data started the wave, but hyper-convergence is the next step in this evolutionary path – in which voice, data and enterprise applications are merged and integrated with the network, data centre and a proliferation of devices – incorporating both virtual and physical components.

As was the case with voice and data convergence, the early steps taken to adoption may be complex, but ultimately, it delivers significant business benefits.

Hyper-convergence will break down silos and allow enterprises the ability to manage a diverse set of hardware, applications and services as a single entity, enabling greater visibility of data across enterprises, as well as enhancing mobility and collaboration.

In the face of the big data tidal wave, the proliferation of mobile devices in use, and increasing pressure for IT to deliver more agility and streamline operations on a stagnant budget, hyper-convergence presents a solution to some of the main challenges facing IT today.

The next-generation data centre must support this convergence across technologies, applications and devices, and critically, it must support new business imperatives, such as flexibility, efficiency and cost control.

A key first step in preparing for a hyper-convergence enterprise is data centre consolidation. This is particularly relevant in southern Africa, where enterprises may have multiple branches spread over a vast geographic area, in addition to contending with erratic or costly power supplies and where some locations may be considered high-risk areas to store valuable company data.

By moving data out of the branch office and back to the central servers, enterprises reduce costs, mitigate risk and improve manageability – without end-users suffering any loss of performance on enterprise applications.

About the author: n" rel=tag>Christo Briedenhann is country manager for Riverbed Technology Africa.