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While there is no doubt that converged systems, in particular, and software-defined infrastructure (SDI), in general, are the hottest-selling class of products in the data center, solution providers today are generally forced down a particular vendor path to participate.

Whether it’s platforms from EMC, Cisco or Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a solution provider today can’t mix and match server and storage elements within a converged infrastructure platform as they see fit. However, StrataCloud wants to change that.

StrataCloud’s SDI Install application, which recently made its debut, offers solution providers the software they need to automate the deployment of converged systems. Initially, StrataCloud SDI Install is being used to reduce the amount of time it takes to set up a FlexPod converged system based on servers from Cisco and storage from NetApp.

Later this year, however, StrataCloud will add support for other servers and storage systems, said CEO Brian Cohen. Once that occurs, solution providers will be able to mix and match servers and storage systems to create their own unique converged infrastructure systems, Cohen said. In fact, many of those solution providers could opt to use white-box components sourced by distributors, he added.

Naturally, not all solution providers have the technical chops to build and then support their own converged infrastructure systems. For those that have historically built their own systems, StrataCloud SDI Install provides the software that makes building a converged system not only simpler, but also a more profitable alternative to reselling a branded converged platform. In effect, StrataCloud SDI Install leverages APIs to turn infrastructure into code that presents the infrastructure as a set of services that solution providers can invoke, Cohen said.

In the meantime, StrataCloud is betting that there will be plenty of solution providers that want to simply reduce the time it takes to configure and deploy a converged system from about 70 hours to 60 minutes. After all, regardless of the type of system that is being sold, time is still money.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.