Converged storage is the integration of storage and computing hardware and processes to speed delivery time, optimize application performance, and minimize power, cooling, and physical space requirements in virtualized and cloud-based environments. This approach contrasts with the traditional storage model, in which storage and computing take place in separate hardware entities.
The intent of storage convergence is to remove the physical, logical, and management barriers that have historically encumbered data storage and retrieval. In a converged storage system, standardized platforms employ widely available x86-based hardware to streamline operations and keep costs under control. Virtualized storage supports data growth and mobility with a minimum of disruption, and converged management automates and accelerates application delivery to and from clients.
Storage convergence is being driven by growing demand for information technology (IT) resources in the physical, virtual, and cloud environments. The need for risk reduction, for example, is increasing as the complexity and scope of threats grows. Business and governments are demanding fast and efficient backup, archiving, and search functions in ever-more-massive data centers. According to Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's total data archive content will reach 300,000 petabytes by the year 2015.