Converged infrastructure is the combining of multiple types of resources, including storage, computing, and networking into a single managed data center architecture.
The two leaders in the converged infrastructure market, Hewlett Packard and Cisco, see this as the way to lock customers into those vendor's product offerings and keep out the competition. Both in 2010 beefed up their offerings in a dramatic fashion.
HP in September closed a $2.35 billion acquisition of storage vendor 3PAR, and is integrating its new storage tech into its converged infrastructure and cloud computing businesses.
Cisco introduced its second generation blade servers only a year after it entered the server market. Cisco, which does not offer storage arrays, expanded its partnerships with NetApp and EMC, two vendors who are arch rivals for both customers' and Cisco's affection. The NetApp relationship has blossomed, a fact not lost on EMC, which was Cisco’s exclusive storage partner in early 2010.