You’ve probably heard the term “Web-scale IT” before, or “converged infrastructure” perhaps, and you may think you know what it’s all about and the potential benefits. But for those that don’t – and as cheat-sheet for those who say they do, but really aren’t that certain – here are five things you need to know:
1. As the term implies, Web-Scale IT is all about being able to scale your infrastructure to meet the demands of applications in the modern online world. You can start as small as you like, grow as big as you like and as fast as you like, without the need for big budgets or massive support teams.
2. Web-Scale IT does away with the need for proprietary platforms that are both expensive to buy and complex to manage, employing, instead, a mix of commodity server and storage hardware. Typically, its deployed together as compute and storage nodes within a modular appliance format.
Need more computing power? Add more nodes.
Need more storage? Add more nodes.
It really is that simple.
3. It’s that simple because virtually all the work needed to put that hardware to use is done in software. Moreover, in the same way as virtualisation is universally employed to deliver highly scalable and easily managed compute resources, with a converged infrastructure storage is, similarly, abstracted, virtualised and made simpler to administer.
4. Because everything is virtualised, compute and storage resources can be managed together through the same interface, dramatically reducing management overheads and the need for specialist skills while, at the same time, making the business more responsive to change. It also enhances availability by replicating virtual compute and storage resources and distributing them across all the nodes in the infrastructure.
5. Web-Scale IT was invented by the giants of the online world, but you don’t have to be Amazon, Google or Facebook to take advantage of the benefits this approach has to offer.
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