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Convergence -- the bundling of storage, compute, network and virtualization -- is already evolving with new products that redefine ease of use.
When the concept of convergence came on the scene a couple of years ago, I wrote a column expressing my concern that if convergence was taken too far we could return to the proprietary days of the 1970s. Back then, a customer bought everything -- compute, network, storage, database and, in most cases, applications -- from a single vendor. And you were locked into that vendor practically forever. Open systems changed that and a more piecemeal approach arose over the intervening years. EMC built its multibillion-dollar business on selling best-of-breed storage that attached to servers from Dell, HP, IBM or any other vendor. That method has served the market well for three decades.
Convergence continues to take shape in the market, with offerings from Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp and VMware, just to name some of the major players. To be fair, these integrated systems have brought simplicity to the purchasing process and improved time to value. I also think they’ve simplified management with a single-pane-of-glass console.
This was first published in October 2012