High-Tech Product Development: How Hyperconvergence is Pushing Smart Manufacturing
A new trend in IT called hyperconvergence is helping to provide more agile and innovative results for companies. This push for new digital functionality and coordination is impacting, among other industries, the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing businesses are using hyperconvergence principles to renovate their computer systems and revolutionize product development.
Demand for Next-Generation Manufacturing Software
In some ways, the demand for sophisticated manufacturing software solutions started with the adoption of emerging Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP tools. These comprehensive software platforms have sought to aggregate all sorts of useful information about what manufacturers do — for instance, with payroll, customer relationship management, and product development and workforce features, these platforms give business leaders more of an overall view of how to run a manufacturing company. Over the past few years, survey operators like SelectHub have found a significant interest in these software programs in the manufacturing world.
As manufacturing continued to modernize, planners found that hyperconvergence, which ties together computing resources, can be essential for data handling related to ERP, but also for other key IT processes around better control of production.
Benefits of Hyperconvergence
Manufacturers have discovered hyperconvergence — the idea that by tying together storage, network and computer resources, companies can further empower their IT systems to direct product development activities.
Essentially, hyperconvergent systems put IT pieces together, to eliminate bottlenecks and silos. Instead of having network activities loosely coupled to an external storage architecture, hyperconvergence puts all of these different moving parts together, and makes them work in a collaborative way.
A Cisco resource on the company’s ‘Hyperflex’ technology delivers more detail on how this works, describing hyperconverged infrastructure as something that “bridges gaps in a variety of different ways.” More data is captured in workflows, and a full “life cycle” emerges for the manufacturing process.
The Hyperconvergent Data Center
Manufacturing companies use hyperconvergence in many ways; one of them is related to getting data into and out of central data centers or repository structures.
Manufacturers work with troves of data: data on products, on operations, on inventory, and on all of the individual tasks that make up a business cycle.
Hyperconvergence offers agility and efficiency for data handling.
One big example is in storage: instead of managing separate storage structures like SANs, a hyperconvergent system builds storage right into the mix. A blend of storage, networking and computing systems rely on high availability from unified IT hardware setups.
Looking at additional case studies and resources on manufacturers’ use of hyperconvergence, it’s easy to imagine how this works in a manufacturing environment, for instance, where each person, piece of equipment or product will have its own digital identifiers — and be tied to tiny collaborative network nodes that can talk to one another and build more cooperative models.
Hyperconvergence ties all of that data together in ways that are more direct and more streamlined than they would be in a traditional system. Data doesn’t have to go caroming around into remote silos for storage, or require labor-intensive aggregation processes — it’s data at the fingertips of those participating people and machines that are so much a part of the modern manufacturing world.
Scaling with Hyperconvergent Systems
Another major benefit of hyperconvergence is scalability — companies need ways to continually add capacity for growing demand. Companies that are conversant in hyperconvergence and network virtualization offer these capabilities to manufacturers, promoting all of the many benefits of these new systems in order to compete in the market.
Look for hyperconvergence vendors to emerge as big players in tomorrow’s manufacturing world, and partners in the rush to more capably connect all of those automated parts that product makers have added to their product development operations.