According to research from Techaisle, converged infrastructure adoption is on the rise in the small to midsize business (SMB) community. Ten percent of small businesses and 27 percent of midmarket businesses plan to adopt converged infrastructure. Survey respondents cited one or more of the following reasons for moving forward with converged infrastructure: integrated design and efficiency, centralized resource management, fast deployment and time to value, improved agility and alignment with business needs, and core organizational requirements for reduced costs and better security.

In a traditional data center model, an organization would evaluate and purchase technology from multiple vendors and build its IT infrastructure from scratch. Even if you have experienced IT professionals on staff or outsource to a qualified third party, the process of designing the data center, installing hardware and software, and making sure they play nicely together is slow, expensive and risky.

Converged infrastructure minimizes these issues by integrating compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources in a pre-tested, preconfigured solution. This “infrastructure in a box” approach also reduces power, cooling, cabling and space requirements to improve operational efficiency.

Hyper-converged infrastructure takes converged infrastructure a step further by more tightly integrating various data center components and pooling all resources. This accelerates time to value by reducing compatibility issues that cause costly delays. Once hyper-converged infrastructure is up and running, resource pooling provides flexible capacity and reduces the risk of downtime. And because hyper-converged infrastructure solutions have a highly scalable, modular architecture, the system can be expanded by plugging in new modules as needed.

Hyper-converged infrastructure also adds capabilities such as de-duplication, compression, backup, snapshots, disaster recovery and WAN optimization to further optimize the IT environment. Everything can be centrally managed through a single interface.

It’s easy to see why SMBs are interested in hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. Most SMBs simply don’t have the time, staff or budget to design, implement, configure and manage IT infrastructure. These challenges only become more difficult as the company grows, business and customer needs change, and technology becomes more complex. Instead of focusing on innovative ways to use IT to support growth, smaller organizations often struggle to simply tread water from a technology standpoint. With hyper-converged infrastructure, SMBs can become more agile and efficient while reducing IT complexity.

Hyper-converged infrastructure can also simplify and streamline IT at branch offices. Again, the conventional approach of building an IT infrastructure from the ground up and then managing that infrastructure is complicated. Most organizations don’t have dedicated IT staff for implementing and managing branch office technology. Hyper-converged infrastructure simplifies branch office IT deployments and allows multiple locations to be centrally managed from the home office. This allows IT to maximize application availability and performance, which are often difficult to maintain in branch offices.

The simplicity and low risk of hyper-converged infrastructure are making this data center model more and more attractive to SMBs and companies with multiple locations. As IT environments become more complex and the demands on those environments intensify, hyper-converged infrastructure is an option that can deliver faster ROI.