It happens with almost any new technological advance: Suddenly, every product is in the cloud, or mobile-based, or big data-ready—whether they really are or not. The same thing is happening with the word “converged.” More and more companies are realizing the value of an open, flexible, workload-optimized system, and so more and more technology vendors are trying to co-opt “converged.” Caveat emptor: Here are five things to look for in a true converged architecture system.

1. A converged architecture vendor should work with you to ensure that your workload needs can and will be accommodated with pre-configured server, storage, networking and management components.

2. Look for a system that is flexible in its configuration, based on a common, scale-out architecture, networking and multiple storage options.

3.  The hardware vendor should take on the responsibility of initial planning, designing and integrating the system—removing the burden on the customer to perform tasks such as IP address assignment, raw storage initialization and even cabling.

4.  Notice in item No. 3 that we used the singular noun “vendor?” Many integrated systems on the market today are conglomerations of hardware from many different vendors. They may call it “best of breed,” but it’s less likely to work smoothly than a converged system that uses components from a single source. Working with a single vendor also ensures access to the most effective support and consulting.

5. Make sure that the system you are evaluating offers a high degree of automation. Modern converged systems enable huge numbers of virtualized instances—you don’t’ want to be manually administering anything at that volume.

These are just a few of the things that you should be looking for in a converged architecture system. It’s also key to work with a vendor that has a history of providing—and effectively supporting--robust products for the enterprise.

Underwritten by HPE

Part of HPE’s Power of One strategy, HPE Converged Architecture 700 delivers infrastructure as one integrated stack. HPE Converged Architecture 700 delivers proven, repeatable building blocks of infrastructure maintained by one management platform (HPE OneView), built and delivered exclusively by qualified HPE Channel Partners. This methodology saves considerable time and resources, compared to the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.