The technology known as unified, converged or fabric computing first caught the attention of the IT world in the late 1990s. By 2008, technology research group Gartner had named fabric computing as one of 10 leading strategic technologies of that year.
At a 2011 Gartner Data Center conference, nearly 50 percent of attendees who responded to a poll said they were implementing or considering fabric computing technologies, with virtualization as the main driver. Here are some of the primary advantages of fabric computing:
- Optimized data center management: Tightly coupling all resources makes central management possible, which increases system visibility and agility.
- Easier cloud computing: The unified infrastructure lets IT managers easily add the virtual machines required to take advantage of the cloud model.
- Enhanced scalability: Because the unified fabric is in place from the beginning, these systems can grow without adding management complexity.
“Fabric computers are not for everyone — they’re relatively expensive,” says Carl Claunch, a Gartner analyst. “But for organizations that need the flexibility and are thinking about the cloud, the tight integration is worth every penny.”