Software Composable Infrastructure is the next evolution in data center computing infrastructure that is designed to disaggregate hardware components and subsequently combine these disparate elements in an intelligent manner, based on real-time demands. In this new paradigm, compute, storage and fabric are fluid resources and software is used to combine or “compose” them into units for computing. Therefore, composable infrastructure is user-defined and user re-configurable on demand to become whatever is required.
Software composable infrastructure enables enterprises to easily and quickly create the infrastructure they need, when they need it. Traditional infrastructure silos are broken down and resources can be shared more effectively, thereby raising utilization and bringing down infrastructure and operational costs significantly. It is essentially infrastructure as code.
The benefits of software composable infrastructure include:
Public Cloud-like agility
Composable infrastructure allows the IT Operations team to provide a cloud-like experience to the consumers of this infrastructure by being able to spin up new services in minutes and delivering cloud-like speed and agility. Servers and clusters can be re-composed on demand to respond to changing workloads. Server or disk failure can be handled in software without requiring anyone to attend to the physical hardware, making recovery almost instantaneous.
Composability does not imply that once the resources are combined, that the final compute systems are any different than traditional infrastructure. In fact, it is exactly the same and utilizes industry standard servers, storage and fabrics. Unlike technologies, such as software defined storage, there is no abstraction layer involved. The net result is that there are no changes required in the way applications are deployed on this infrastructure. One of the hallmarks of this new architecture is that the storage performance is equivalent to direct-attached storage in servers. This means that applications that read or write data to disk will function at the same performance level as tradition infrastructure.
Software composable infrastructure utilizes much of the same components used to design traditional infrastructure which is deployed at enterprises around the world. These systems are deployed with very high RAS (reliability, availability & serviceability) features which makes them enterprise-class.
Having a composable infrastructure implies that resources can be allocated on demand, and when these resources are no longer being used, they can be returned to a common pool for use by other workloads. It also means that all the infrastructure resources are available in a shared pool instead of being placed in silos. This improves utilization and reduces overprovisioning, both of which contribute to reducing costs. Additionally, being able to spin up or spin down servers, storage and fabrics means that the operations are significantly more dynamic in nature and thereby less costly to perform as compared to manual re-configuration.
Software composable infrastructure is the next stage in the natural progression from tradition infrastructure, to converged and hyper-converged infrastructure. The benefits of moving to this model of infrastructure deployment and consumption are immediate and long-lasting. It also allows enterprises to grow their infrastructure organically by only acquiring the resources they need as they need it.