Dec 26 2018

How Agencies Can Gain Flexibility from Composable Infrastructure

With composable infrastructure, public sector systems that rely on legacy hardware can see improvements in efficiency and reductions in energy waste.

Ever since organizations first connected computer, storage and networking equipment, they have sought ways to reduce their footprint while also increasing their power. Giants like Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell provide a relatively new solution to this age-old challenge with composable infrastructure, which leaves computer, storage and networking resources separate but pools them on demand.

Composable infrastructure supports resourcing of computing, storage or networking through a software interface. As such, some people call it “infrastructure as code.”

MORE FROM STATETECH: Discover data center consolidation best practices for state governments. 

Composable Infrastructure Delivers More Efficiency, Less Waste

By adopting composable infrastructure, public sector systems that rely on legacy hardware can see vast improvements to their operational efficiency and reductions in energy waste, resulting in big long-term savings for budget-conscious departments, according to Moor Insights and Strategy.

The Washington State Department of Transportation was quick to recognize this fact. Wayne Holland, the WSDOT server support supervisor, oversees the transition of the department’s HPE BladeSystem c7000 servers over to the HPE Synergy system, which started with an initial implementation of a three-unit Synergy system in 2017

“It’s nearly impossible for us to get the entire system upgraded in one budget cycle, so we decided to get a foothold,” Holland says. 

HPE Synergy supports the pooling of third-party storage and networking capabilities, so agencies can upgrade incrementally and operate within budget contraints. Holland’s advice to other agencies is to get familiar with the technology and grow from there. “Get a single unit in the next budget cycle. Get that system in and learn it, because this is the future,” he says.


Composable Infrastructure Market Expected to Boom 

State and local government agencies are expected to widely adopt composable infrastructure as it keeps resources local. According to research firm IDC, the market for the technology is forecast to grow from just over $300 million today to nearly $3.4 billion by 2022.

Ashish Nadkarni, IDC’s group vice president of infrastructure systems, believes government agencies are well suited to systems such as Synergy — especially those agencies with diverse mission-critical technology stacks. 

“Composable infrastructure supports bare-metal, virtualized and containerized environments. It really helps government bodies that are doing all three. They can use bare metal for traditional applications and then move resources over to containerized environments without retooling their infrastructure,” Nadkarni says

Illustration by Rob Dobi

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