The Drawbacks in Unified Data Center Stacks

While a unified data center stack provides advantages, enterprises must deal with the limitations of vendor lock-in.
Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO) Unified Computing System (UCS) and entry into the server market a year ago sparked a new IT arms race and has forced data storage, server and networking vendors alike to come up with a strategy for data center convergence.

The promise of a converged or unified computing platform is clear — centralized management and provisioning of virtual resources on-the-fly while reducing physical infrastructure and overall cost.

The potential drawbacks, however, cannot be overlooked. According to industry experts, customers face the threat of vendor lock-in, while storage vendors have a decision to make: Pick a side.

Taneja Group founder and consulting analyst Arun Taneja concedes that there is upside to unified computing, but he is leery of the downside.

"We know that certain advantages accrue when you have that level of control over the vertical stack from the application to the spindle, but the negatives far outweigh the positives," he said.

IT buyers are accustomed to buying best-of-breed products and are confident that they have some leverage at the negotiating table. Taneja is fearful that negotiating power may evaporate if unified computing platforms take hold.

Read the rest at Enterprise Storage Forum.

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