Converged Infrastructure

Converged infrastructure (CI), also known as converged architecture, is an approach to structuring an information technology (IT) system to group multiple components into a single, optimized computing appliance. Components of a CI may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment, and software for IT infrastructure management, automation, and orchestration. As opposed to multiple IT assets living in different silos, hardware components can be bundled with management software to arrange the resources as a single system.

This approach allows organizations to lower IT management costs, increase the speed of software and service deployment, and manage computer resources in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Businesses use CI to reduce complexity in data center management and create sustainable computing infrastructure for Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) scenarios without needing a large, physical space and dedicated IT personnel.  

A few useful features include:

  • Simplifying management infrastructure by streamlining day-to-day maintenance
  • Providing storage capacity that is easily scalable
  • Reducing provisioning time 
  • Reducing response times to marketplace changes and business priorities
  • Easy implementation of private or hybrid clouds
  • Greater control of multiple functions and devices

Converged infrastructure vs. hyper-converged infrastructure

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) uses intelligent software to combine x86-based servers and storage resources into a software-defined solution. CI has distinct hardware that can be separated and used independently. Separate is not supported with HCI. It is geared toward small and mid-sized enterprises that don’t require customization, whereas CI is best for large enterprises because it is customized to support the specific application workload of the enterprise. 

HCI is more flexible, maneuverable, and scalable than CI. It shares storage to all compute and virtual machines and is software-defined, whereas CI relies on hardware and employs building blocks. HCI does not replace CI or vice versa. Both technologies contain unique features and benefits. 

Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1559 Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Melissa Virus

The Melissa virus is a type of mass-mailing macro virus that has been...

On-Screen Display (OSD)

An on-screen display (OSD) is the graphic image, text, or information shown on...

Hotfix

A hotfix, also known as quick-fix engineering (QFE) update, is a term used...