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WITH SMBS RELYING increasingly on IT to run every aspect of their business, the inherent complexity of legacy IT is a risky prospect. With so much at stake, it’s little wonder why SMBs are seeking to simplify their IT environments. To provide easy-to-deploy and manage IT that is also scalable, resellers are turning to converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions that include pre-integrated compute, storage, and networking resources in a single system.
IT research firm IDC predicts that the market for converged infrastructure will reach $14.3 billion by 2017, up from $5.4 billion in 2013. As for the hyper-converged market—essentially a software-based approach via a hypervisor that allows for the creation of shared pools of resources across multiple VMs as opposed to a hardware-based approach—IDC predicts this market will increase from $142 million in 2013 to more than $2.3 billion by 2017.
While simplicity in terms of purchase, deployment, and management is a major selling point of such infrastructure, former resellers of Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) may be particularly inclined to offer the kind of all-in-one, vendor-certified solutions that convergence vendors promise. With virtualization among SMBs growing in acceptance, “SMBs are looking to combine processing, storage, and networking into a scalable and robust unit that can support and respond to options that are inherent in virtualization,” says Anurag Agrawal, CEO of market research firm Techaisle LLC.
In addition to scalable resources available in one chassis, converged infrastructure solutions allow SMBs to work with a single vendor—another huge appeal. What’s more, converged infrastructure leads to a reduction in operating costs due to smaller footprints, streamlined upgrades, and efficient provisioning. With such compelling benefits and a sizable and growing market, numerous vendors are plying their converged and hyper-converged wares to SMBs. Some notable vendors and their offerings are described in this gallery.
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