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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Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter
Jan26

Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter

Trey Layton says the future of the datacenter is all about convergence and while he congratulated HPE for last week’s SimpliVity acquisition, he didn’t appear too optimistic about its prospects for success in the still small but rapidly expanding hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) subsegment. “As related to Simplivity, we rarely see them in a deal… we don’t see them when it comes down to evaluation and comparison”, said the CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division (CPSD), the group currently sitting atop the integrated infrastructure market, which includes HCI. As the world rushes to all-digital, all-the-time, somewhere there is a datacenter powering all that software making DX possible. While numbers of the overall market are sketchy, a slew of recent surveys reinforce the growing need for datacenters of all sizes: -the global datacenter market will grow at a CAGR of 10.72% during the period 2016-2020; -the modular and containerized datacenter market will grow at a 12% CAGR between 2017-2021; -the mini datacenter — a self-contained system designed to be from a single rack (micro datacenter) to up to 40 rack enclosure (containerized and aisle containment solution) — market will grow at a CAGR of 17.17% during the period 2017-2021; and, -the hyperscale datacenter market — also called cloud 2.0 — will explode 4100% between 2016-2023, from $869.7 million in 2016 to $359.7 billion in 2023. Increasingly, these datacenters are turning to integrated, or converged solutions that IDC breaks down into four segments: -integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; -integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools; and, -hyperconverged (AKA hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI) systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution; a key differentiator of hyperconverged systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Not liking to play well with others, Gartner prefers to label HCI as hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS). However, whether HCI or HCIS, this segment is still relatively small: hyperconverged sales grew 104.3% year over year during Q3, generating $570.5 million worth of sales, or 22% of the total converged market, according to IDC. It will account for just 24% of the integrated systems market by 2019, but it will reach ‘mainstream use’ and is expected to be worth close to $5 billion, stated Gartner. According to the latest available numbers (Q3), the combined integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems market accounted...

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Whatever Hyperconvergence Is or Isn’t, It Is Hot!
Aug04

Whatever Hyperconvergence Is or Isn’t, It Is Hot!

HP is expanding its hyperconverged infrastructure portfolio with the 2U, 4-node ConvergedSystem 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS250) appliance. Designed for virtual desktops and remote office productivity, as well as offering an easy path to hybrid cloud, it is ‘configurable in minutes for nearly half the price of competitive systems.’ “We’re focused on bringing more choice to our customers,” said Rob Strechay, Director, Product Marketing and Management, Software-Defined Storage, HP. The 4-node appliance (the starting price initially quoted is apparently now under review) will ship on August 17, while the 3-node CS250 with Foundation Carepack and VMware vSphere Enterprise, starting at a list price of $121,483, will ship on September 28, he told IT Trends & Analysis. Back in December the company unveiled its Helion CloudSystem CS200-Hyper-Converged StoreVirtual and ConvergedSystem 700. In June it introduced its next CI, the Composable Infrastructure (API), intended to support a new class of infrastructure that will be “composable”, built to fit the specific needs of an application or workload that will run on it. While HP’s initial foray into HCI nine months ago exceeded expectations, Strechay said customers indicated they were looking for “simpler, lower-cost solutions that had better performance”. The CS 250 allows customers to tailor the system with a choice of up to 96 processing cores, a mix of SSD and SAS disk drives, and up to 2TB of memory per 4-node appliance, double that of previous generations, and includes three 4TB StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) licenses delivers multi-site business continuity by leveraging the system’s ability to flexibly replicate data to any other HP StoreVirtual-based solution. The appliance is pre-configured for vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 and HP OneView InstantOn, with daily management from VMware vCenter via the HP OneView for VMware vCenter plug-in. The system will also be cloud-ready, at least for HP’s Helion, said Strechay. While definitions vary, hyperconvergence appears to be a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor, and enabling cloud-like economics and scale without compromising the performance, reliability, and availability (i.e. Nutanix and SimpliVity). Unlike HCI, HP’s CI, or converged infrastructure – not to be confused with HP’s other CI, composable infrastructure – is a mix of compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies – from two or more vendors (i.e. Cisco and EMC). “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for infrastructure,” said Manish Goel, SVP and GM, HP Storage, in a prepared statement. “This is why HP continues to offer flexible and interoperable solutions based on HP StoreVirtual technology to help our customers lower costs...

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How Hyperconvergence Can Hyper-Drive Virtualization

During a recent Storage Swiss webinar, “Is Convergence Right For You? 4 Questions To Ask”, we polled our audience and asked what percentage of their environment is virtualized. Over half of the respondents selected 25-50% of their environment is virtualized. This means that for many organizations, the majority of their applications still reside on dedicated, physical servers. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Storage Switzerland Weekly...

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Hyperconverged – Hyper Market Acceleration

Why does this all matter? Convergence, whether it be full hyperconvergence or better engineering between infrastructure components that is delivered in a pre-configured turnkey manner, is here to stay. Traditional and emerging IT vendors are going to quickly have to determine how to stand out from the pack and light up their go to market campaigns and sales initiatives. Some vendors in this general market, VCE for example, are focused in on the large enterprise and are tooled with professionals that can carry an enterprise application conversation while other vendors; Maxta, for example, is still balancing its storage capabilities with hyperconvergance messaging. The next 6 months matter! Messaging and marketing have to stand out from the adjacent IT vendor participants, and candidly, these vendors need to find ways to shorten sales cycles and get their go to market partners involved and incented so they can help transact in this new consumption model. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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