Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of growth in converged infrastructures. Essentially, a converged infrastructure is any type of infrastructure that takes two or more discrete pieces of technology and consolidates them into one information system solution. Traditional converged systems, ones that are packaged solutions, take existing technology and consolidate it into a repeatable, standardized deployment framework. But the new model of converged systems takes that disparate technology and converges it in a much more tightly integrated way, using something called the software-defined data center. Software-defined is just another way of saying hyperconvergence.
In my view, the term “software-defined” is a stand-in for “virtual.” It does mean something slightly different, because when we think of virtualization we typically think of virtual servers. But software-defined enables us to virtualize literally anything in the data center
. What we're really saying is that we're trying to create a data center that's policy driven, automated, highly virtualized, and that virtualizes elements that formerly could only be done with purpose-specific hardware.