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March 2011, Vol. 2 No. 1

Unified data center hardware: Changing the equation

xToday’s data centers may be getting a makeover. If big IT hardware vendors have their way, data centers will soon fill up with unified or converged data center hardware instead of the usual piecemeal combinations of servers, storage and networking. This converged data center hardware --  big pre-integrated chunks of IT -- will ostensibly cut down on wiring and energy costs and pack more compute/storage/networking power into less sprawl than is conventionally found in data centers. That sales model—which involves bigger buy-in across traditional IT silos—has huge ramifications for smaller VARs that are used to selling best-of-breed chunks of storage or servers or routers and then knitting them into unique customer solutions. Most data centers today rely on their server group to spec out, recommend and sign off on a given vendor. The same goes for the storage and networking crew, with each picking out its own specialized hardware. As a result, many shops run EMC or NetApp storage with Hewlett-Packard, Dell or IBM servers ...

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