Did you know that a recent IDG research study revealed 45 percent of IT decision makers do not understand the value of composable infrastructure? Even the most seasoned data center professionals are still growing familiar with what composable infrastructure is, how it came to be, and what its advantages are.
What Is Composable Infrastructure?
As it is explained in What Is Composable Infrastructure, “Composable infrastructure —sometimes referred to as ‘infrastructure as code’ – is a software-defined solution that goes beyond simply converging or hyperconverging hardware, compute, and storage into a single integrated unit." A composable system virtualizes the entire IT infrastructure: it treats physical compute, storage, and network devices as services, and manages all of IT via a single application. This eliminates the need to configure hardware to support specific applications and allows the infrastructure to be managed by software command. Composable infrastructures create pools of resources that are automatically composed in near real time to meet compute needs.” Dave Fafel, WEI’s Chief Architect, discusses composable infrastructure and HPE Synergy in this Real Tech with WEI video.
Top 10 Business Advantages of Composable Infrastructure
Composable infrastructure represents one of the greatest steps forward for application delivery since DevOps. What are its benefits? We cover the top 10 business advantages of composable infrastructure below.
More Value/Less Cost
While it is still difficult to quantify the long-term costs and ROI, composable infrastructure provides value to business and development by providing increased efficiencies in infrastructure operations. It unlocks value by increasing productivity and control, and reduces CapEx by leveraging fluid pools of dynamic resources. That means paying for overprovisioning or stranded resources is a thing of the past. It also means lower OpEx through the reduction of disparate administration tools that can come with a steep learning curve.
A composable infrastructure environment provides less overall complexity by offering a single infrastructure model used across the enterprise, as opposed to many disparate and disconnected workflow-centric resources. This allows for a more open learning environment, less investment in staff training, and fewer silos of technical knowledge that often serve as barriers to change.
Composable infrastructure is unique in that it fully supports continuous IT service delivery. Workloads align with business demands and automation provides more efficient infrastructure management from top to bottom. This operational efficiency gain means fewer dollars spent on greater results.
Software Driven Tools for “Software Defined Everything”
Through the availability of a single, open RESTful API, developers can programmatically control composable infrastructure. With infrastructure resources being software-defined and abstracted from traditional hardware constraints, composable infrastructure can pool its compute, storage, and fabric resources. It then reassembles (or composes) these resources as needed, early on in the development process.
Via the single programmable interface, administrators and developers alike can manipulate any part of the environment using software‐defined templates.
According to Infrastructure for Dummies, “The unified API increases productivity and control across the data center by integrating and automating infrastructure operations and applications. It provides a single interface to discover, search, inventory, configure, provision, update, and diagnose the composable infrastructure. A single line of code fully describes and can provision the infrastructure required for an application, eliminating time‐consuming scripting of hundreds of calls to low‐level tools and interfaces.”
Composability also means agility. Thanks to resource disaggregation, composable infrastructure enables flexible, fluid, “frictionless” groundwork and the ability to ramp up or scale back at will. Working within a unified data center also eliminates siloed groups that impede operations, and can reduce CapEx and OpEx requirements, too.
Composable infrastructure is no longer limited to a single operating model and can run virtual machines, bare-metal, or within a containerized environment. With this flexibility, enterprises may go ‘all in’ with composable or choose to adopt a more bimodal approach, utilizing existing legacy components and systems for rigid, predictable workloads alongside new composable delivery models focused on speed, growth, and innovative applications.
As applications have evolved from rigid release cycles to an as-needed delivery schedule, they are demanding more responsiveness from IT. Composable infrastructure reduces provisioning times through a template-driven approach, making infrastructure resources as on-demand as possible. This puts the infrastructure in position to no longer be a hindrance to business velocity, but a strategic asset.
As they say, “Be fast, or you will never last.” Composable infrastructure is the fastest operational model to date. With the increased speed and ease of provisioning of new infrastructure, composable data centers promise to achieve a delivery rate equivalent to that of the cloud, but from a secure data center. This can reduce overhead and increase the speed of important service delivery items, all while maintaining existing security and governance.
Large scale technology shifts are directly resulting from the implementation of Agile and DevOps development methodologies. This modernization of technology on the front end requires back-end systems that are instantly adaptable and provisioned for any workload. Infrastructure resources must be more responsive than ever and assembled on demand, software defined, pooled, and composed to meet the requirements of modern application workloads. The result is the emerging “infrastructure as code” movement within the DevOps community, which is directly addressed by composable infrastructure.
As we explain in our white paper, Orchestrating Composable Infrastructure: 6 Ways to Ensure Operational and Financial Harmony, “According to IDC, companies must now adopt solutions to support a transition to infrastructures that deliver new capacity for next-generation applications while maintaining mission-critical IT workloads. The benefit of composable, says IDC, is that it aggregates compute, storage, and fabric into shared pools of resources that can be allocated on demand to orchestrate and deliver resources to meet service demands.”
With composable infrastructure, IT can plug in a new device, and much like plug and play on a PC, the component is instantly recognized and automatically added to the resource pool. With this, hardware and software requirements are architected and developed at the same time – to work in unison. Furthermore, provisioning can be done on the fly, as needed. No longer does one need to wait for the other.
Without the constraints of traditional infrastructure, updates can now be executed automatically, without impacting IT operations. Such improvements include easy access to issue monitoring, hardware diagnosis, error reporting, firmware management, visualization, and control over resource pools. In addition, composable infrastructure works with any workload and is driven by the same virtualization tools managers have come to rely on. And it’s all done with the goal of being seamless/frictionless while providing more with less.
Composable infrastructure is a fresh new step in the journey to software-defined infrastructure that allows enterprises to scale quickly and easily to meet any challenge. And as we’ve seen, its benefits are many.
The promise of composable is clear, and WEI is here to ensure that you invest y our IT dollars in solutions that can consistently and reliably support all application and service delivery requests. Composable infrastructure brings companies one step closer to this promise by further closing the gap between development and operations teams.
Next Steps: Learn how composable paves the way for hybrid IT by downloading our white paper, "Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing a Hybrid IT model."