Hyperconvergence enables leading Chinese IT service providers to combine technologies that formerly operated in separate silos (such as telephony, internet and television). This transformation is changing approaches for managing data centers, and the way telecommunications companies deliver services to customers.
Telecommunications companies continually seek to improve service delivery and provide new and innovative benefits to customers in the areas of media, cable, residential and enterprise internet, wireless, fixed-line, software and hardware. In the evolution of services, many telecommunications companies now combine these services to offer even greater possibilities.
Leading Chinese IT service providers, such as China Telecom, are already taking advantage of such hyperconverged (combined) technologies to join telecom, TV, residential and enterprise internet and mobile in order to deliver expanded services, or to provide exclusive content for particular subscribers. At the same time, some telecommunications companies are investing heavily in infrastructure to ensure these hyperconverged services are supported with enough bandwidth.
The Evolution of Telecommunications
One result of hyperconvergence is an expansion of the telecommunications industry. Supported by the Chinese government within its current Five-Year Plan, hyperconvergence in this context brings new opportunities for expanded services. This evolution is prompted by three major drivers: technology, customer demand and socioeconomic factors.
Regarding technology drivers, a leading global management consulting firm, Booz & Company, explains: “A key driver for convergence is the development of new technologies that enable the fixed and wireless worlds to come together. Within the next five years, new generations of affordable, highly integrated digital processors and radio components are expected to be developed, with high performance and low power consumption.”
The second factor – customer demand – is significant. A growing Chinese mobile market means that customers are demanding data, gaming, TV and messaging options on their mobile devices. Hyperconvergence allows telecommunications companies to be flexible in responding to these needs, able to adjust their compute, storage and networking capabilities to respond to what customers may want in the future. Providers, like China Telecom, that stay ahead of the trends will thrive in this new environment.
Socioeconomic factors come into play as China’s current Five-Year Plan includes a goal of fostering convergence within telecommunications companies, along with other providers, to strengthen the country’s overall technology infrastructure.
As Booz & Company report: “The essence of convergence is synergy, which means that two or more players can contribute their strengths and combine with unique offerings from others, creating new services and products or building up differentiation.”
Hyperconvergence in Data Centers
The hyperconvergence of compute, storage and networking components is a recipe for the next evolution in data centers. Using this approach, a data center is based on off-the-shelf appliances managed by a single software stack. This revolutionary approach is an improvement over complex and costly data center methods in which each function (usually from separate vendors) operates within its own silo.
Hyperconvergence is a more integrated approach that enables users to set up their infrastructure more quickly to reduce operational complexity and favorably reconfigure IT teams. This infrastructure often includes additional functionality, such as data backup, de-duplication, replication and wide area network (WAN) optimization. It also enables IT teams to seamlessly scale up or down by adding or removing appliances.
According to recent research by 451 Research, 40 percent of organizations are already using hyperconverged infrastructure, and that number is likely to rise quickly. Christian Perry, research manager at 451 Research, states that: “Loyalties to traditional, standalone servers are diminishing in today’s IT ecosystems as managers adopt innovative technologies that eliminate multiple pain points.”
Most leading Chinese IT service providers that offer hyperconverged systems start with low-cost commodity x86 hardware and add value-rich software, but the technology is flexible, with software-only options available as well. This type of data center configuration enables IT departments to provision resources instantly, and accommodates a wide variety of applications, offering a high degree of flexibility and efficiency.
According to a recent article published by Data Center Knowledge: “Uses include general purpose workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure, analytics, and for remote or branch office workloads. In fewer cases, companies use it to run mission critical applications, server virtualization, or high-performance storage.”
What Does This Mean for Enterprise IT?
Hyperconvergence offers a simplified architecture, plus a simpler administration model. Instead of having a set of applications and teams to manage 1) a storage array, 2) virtualization, and 3) server hardware; one team (or perhaps even one person) can manage the complete hyperconverged stack. These simplifications can result in immense savings and/or reasonable costs for scaling and growing a Cloud IT footprint.
China Telecom’s Contribution
China Telecom is working to assist organizations that want to take advantage of this technology. Offering content delivery networks, enterprise internet, and cloud and data center services, China Telecom enables companies to take advantage of the security and capacity to elevate their offerings to the next level.
Its data center development reduces operation, maintenance and energy-consumption costs, and improves the overall efficiency of data center operations. These services also implement highly cost-effective data center engineering protocols to maximize each data center’s investment value.
Software-defined data center (SDDC) is a technology infrastructure concept that infrastructure and operations professionals need to pay close attention to. Converged infrastructure is the foundation for SDDCs, and Chinese organizations can leverage these concepts to reduce infrastructure complexity, increase flexibility, and move closer to a more virtualized, automated, and resilient infrastructure. China Telecom is leading the way here, too, with aims to provide and co-locate SDDCs in China and around the world which can help meet enterprise requirements for urgency and flexibility in the very near future.
Start exploring now and learn more about China Telecom Americas and its cutting-edge data center offerings.