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December 2017, Vol. 8, No. 10

Determine if hyper-converged integrated systems are right for you

The IT industry makes a compelling case for hyper-converged technology. Hyper-converged integrated systems, which bring together compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources in an integrated software-based environment, offer the chance of faster, cloud-like provisioning. Still, while they're predicted to become more mainstream, hyper-converged integrated systems have some holes. First, the networking component of hyper-converged infrastructure requires a top-of-rack switching workaround at present. And, in reality, hyper-converged technology seems best used to simplify storage. While HCI offers enterprises a cloud-like environment, it's still more of a stepping-stone technology to get organizations into the public cloud. Companies are exploring HCI, but it remains to be seen how quickly it will be adopted.

In the meantime, other technologies seeing more rapid adoption, such as software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), have pressing needs. Security takes on greater urgency in a growing threat landscape that includes more cyberattacks potentially exploiting more users and devices. As companies are adopting SD-WAN to connect branch locations, they are looking at new security tools like microsegmentation and intrusion detection to shore up network vulnerabilities that come with having more flexible connectivity.

In addition, enterprises are considering the adoption of intent-based networking (IBN). Although it doesn't use new technology per se, IBN requires new understanding of existing IT concepts. IBN, which essentially lets managers tell the network what they want rather than telling it exactly what to do, could eventually redefine how applications and services are delivered across networks.

Finally, one company improved its bandwidth and conferencing tools so users could reach one another anywhere across widespread locations. Read how it's trying to create the best network uptime possible.

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