CI and HCI Traction and Updates from Dell…

In February of this year, Dell EMC announced the VxBlock System 1000 solution as their converged infrastructure (CI) solution to help enterprises speed IT transformation by removing the physical boundaries of traditional CI. And of course there were some updates on the success of that launch and early traction. On the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) side of things, they made announcements related to VxRail and VxRack. And while these announcements may not be as futuristic and forward-looking as some of the AI and ML topics discussed in my other blog, they’re all part of Dell EMC’s concerted efforts to help modernize enterprise infrastructures to meet enterprise goals of being more operationally efficient while enabling organizations to embrace a hybrid- or multi-cloud approach. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?
Feb08

HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?

All-in-one computing, or IT in a box, is experiencing huge growth under the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) label, but while it has quickly moved from hype to mainstream, it still has a long way to go before the software-centric architecture – that integrates compute, storage and virtualization resources in a single system, typically x86 hardware – becomes the preferred way to build your IT infrastructure. HCI first showed up on the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2015, paired with Integrated Systems and taking its initial step of its Hype journey, Innovation Trigger, with the expectation of reaching the Plateau of Productivity in 5-10 years. Just a year later, in Gartner 2016 Hype Cycle For Storage Technologies, HCI was poised atop the very Peak of Inflated Expectations, with an estimated mainstream adoption of less than two years. On Tuesday Gartner released its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, which placed Nutanix, along with Dell EMC, VMware and HPE in its Leaders category. Honorable mentions went to: Cisco, Huawei and Pivot3 (Challengers); Stratoscale and Microsoft (Visionaries); and Scale Computing, DataCore and HTBase (Niche Players). The research giant predicts that by 2020, 20% of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure. According to the latest numbers from IDC, converged systems market revenue increased 10.8% year over year to $2.99 billion during the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), but hyperconverged systems sales grew 68.0% YoY to $1 billion (33.5% for the total market). Dell was the HCI leader – $306.8 million in revenue and a 30.6% share – followed by Nutanix in second place, with $207.4 million in revenue and a share of 20.7%. IDC’s list of key players included Atlantis Computing, Cisco, Fujitsu, Gridstore, HPE, SimpliVity, Maxta, Nimboxx, Pivot3, Scale Computing, NetApp, DataCore and Vmware. Another company with HCI aspirations is Microsoft, which entered the HCI space in late 2016 when it made its datacenter OS, Windows Server 2016, generally available. “Hyperconverged infrastructure is a key part of our Windows Server 2016 software-defined strategy spanning software-defined compute, storage, network and assurance,” noted Siddhartha Roy, principal group program manager for high availability and storage in Windows Server. “The converged systems market expanded on multiple fronts, most notably within hyperconverged solutions,” said IDC’s Eric Sheppard, research director, Enterprise Storage & Converged Systems. “While hyperconvergence is not the sole source of market growth, it has undeniably driven an expansion of this market into new environments at a very rapid pace.” 451 Research predicts the HCI market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% through 2020 to just under $6 billion, while Technology Business Research estimated that the...

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Understanding The Hype Around Hyperconverged Infrastructure

There is a lot of hype around hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All the big vendors and a number of lesser-known smaller ones are in the game. Dell EMC has doubled down on its HCI portfolio investments; NetApp is entering the market leveraging its Solidfire technology; HPE is investing in growing its SimpliVity line; Cisco acquired Springpath so it could offer its own line, but it also partners with Nutanix, HPE and just about everyone else! Speaking of Nutanix, it was a category pioneer (along with SimpliVity) and its Dell EMC branded business is still growing, even though Dell EMC has somewhat competing products with VxRack and VxRail (the 3 HCI products serve different use cases – a topic for another blog!). Nutanix is also doing a healthy business through Lenovo and its channel partners and it has an agreement with IBM to offer its HCI on Power systems. Lesser-known (but fast growing) Pivot3 just announced 50% growth in bookings! Hitachi Vantara has a product it is also leveraging for Lumada IoT, and VMware sells vSAN for HCI use cases. I’m still just scratching the surface- I know I’ve left some vendors out – it’s a long list! What’s behind all this vendor investment and noise? Lots of user interest. Edwin Yuen and I recently sat down and dug into our new HCI research. In this video, we define what HCI is, discuss why IT organizations are so interested, and look at how HCI will impact more traditional approaches to IT infrastructure. Please watch and I would love to hear your feedback! To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DEW17: Emphasizing Fundamental Storage Principles

Most large IT vendor conferences — especially those held in Las Vegas — tend to resemble a three-ring information overload circus. Attendees can easily be overwhelmed with the breadth and depth of what is being presented. At times, focusing on the tried and true basics helps to refresh and clear one’s mind. As an example, let’s turn to the storage solutions that were highlighted this week at Dell EMC World. Naturally, Dell EMC continues to evolve its storage portfolio, but it is not doing so by abandoning the core storage products and principles that have been fundamental to its success for more than two decades. Now, Dell Technologies is the rubric under which all the businesses of the company fall. Dell EMC is the data center infrastructure business and incorporates Dell’s business servers and a midrange storage product line as well as EMC’s traditional high end, midrange, and scale-out (unstructured data) storage systems. In addition, converged infrastructure solutions, including hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offerings falls with the purview of Dell EMC. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Cisco HCI: Spring(Path) Has Sprung
Mar02

Cisco HCI: Spring(Path) Has Sprung

Networking giant Cisco has been very busy the last few weeks, what with last month’s Mobile World Congress and the Jasper Technologies acquisition ($1.4 billion) and this week’s Partner Summit and CliQr Technologies acquisition ($260 million). While the kitchen sink wasn’t included in the recent flood of announcements — although IoE will be featured at both Cisco Live Melbourne and Cisco Connect Singapore later this month, so that’s not yet been ruled out completely — almost everything else in its solutions portfolio was. The company said yesterday’s datacenter announcements featured innovations in three areas: networking, hyperconverged infrastructure (aka HCI) and hybrid cloud orchestration. I was most intrigued by the hyperconvergence (HyperFlex Systems) announcement. We’re announcing the next generation of hyperconvergence, said Todd Brannon, Cisco’s Director of Product Marketing for the Unified Computing System portfolio. He believes the company is going to transform the market, similar to what they did with ACI (aka SDN). Unlike the first-generation vendors, Cisco is coming out with a complete solution (built around SpringPath, a hyperconvergence software vendor backed, in part, by Cisco, and the company’s UCS compute platform), he said. “We’re going to leapfrog the market,” Brannon told IT Trends & Analysis. While HCI is still a very tiny part of the overall IT market, Cisco’s timing appears to be excellent. According to a recent study from Enterprise Strategy Group, 70% of IT respondents plan to invest in HCI over the next 24 months. The overall IT market will grow 0.6% (to $3.54 trillion) this year, converged infrastructure is growing at 6.2% (to $2.5 billion), year-over-year, and HCI is heading for the stratosphere at 258X, with sales shooting up 155.3% (to $278.8 million) for the last reported quarter. The first movers in hyperconvergence — i.e. Nutanix and SimpliVity — did a good job as far as they went, but they didn’t go far enough, said Brannon. Customers tell us they want simplicity, but they don’t want silos… they’re also interested in being able to scale… and want to run more of their applications on them, he said. In short, the existing solutions are “incomplete”. “We’re coming in with a complete solution… there’s very real functional differentiation in this product.” HyperFlex “can deploy in under an hour and that includes the network… [with] 48% higher performance and 30% better TCO”. In addition to HCI, Cisco also expanded its SDN-ready Nexus 9000 switches that deliver ‘up to 10 times performance improvement at industry leading price points [and] give[s] Cisco customers a two-year innovation advantage over competitive technology.’ “We’re delivering 10/25/40/50/100Gpbs across the entire portfolio,” said Thomas Scheibe, Director of Technical Marketing & Solutions Engineering, Cisco. The...

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