The Evaluator Group has published an evaluation guide to composable infrastructure and its suppliers.
The guide defines composable infrastructure as a “comprehensive, rack-scale compute environment that uses software-defined networking techniques to connect independent servers, storage and switch chassis or modules by PCIe or Ethernet.”
According to the Evaluator Group, composable infrastructure incorporates elements of both converged infrastructure (CI) and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
Composable systems disaggregate physical resources, in common with CI – putting storage, networking and compute into dedicated modules. By contrast, HCI systems combine physical resources. This allows the composable system to create compute configurations with more storage, more networking connectivity and special resources like GPUs and FPGAs.
The guide provides a table comparing composable, converged and hyperconverged infrastructures:
It profiles these vendors:
- Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)
- Dell EMC PowerEdge MX7000 Kinetic Infrastructure
- DriveScale Platform Composable Infrastructure
- HPE Synergy
- Intel Rack Scale Design
- Liqid Composable Infrastructure
The inclusion of UCS is a surprise. Here is what the Evaluator Group has to says about this: “Cisco’s Universal Computing System, with software-controlled compute and software-defined networking, was an early example of composable infrastructure, although not promoted or sold as a composable solution, per se.”
The guide suggests that composable infrastructure will “embrace the eventual disaggregation of the CPU-memory complex, improving flexibility and resource efficiency. This would also enable the sharing of DRAM/NVM resources and support putting data closer to the CPU, a long-time goal of distributed computing architectures.”
Also composable Infrastructure is not designed to replace converged or hyperconverged infrastructures, the guide argues. The technology is suitable for “companies seeking the scale and power of CI with the “infrastructure-as-code” aspects of HCI,.”
The guide is available from the Evaluator Group’s website (registration required.)