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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FalconStor Lassos A Piece of SDS’ 35% CAGR
Feb27

FalconStor Lassos A Piece of SDS’ 35% CAGR

If llamas can stage a prison break in Arizona, then why can’t the struggling  FalconStor Software try and find freedom by busting out to the hottest storage commodity? Software Defined Storage (SDS) is still in its infancy, said storage guru George Crump, Storage Switzerland. “FalconStor’s new FreeStor solution promises to mature the category in a hurry.” By ‘freedom’, FalconStor means an approximate 2X surge in its ‘attainable market’, the market growth it thinks it can achieve on strictly product revenue, without maintenance or professional services. ‘With FreeStor and by targeting the SSD, Hybrid and Cloud MSP markets, we believe we can reasonably grow to $56.6 million.’ Originally pre-announced back in October by CEO Garry Quinn, following another quarter of declining revenue, the company’s approach is to let the data center adopt SDS at a pace that makes sense for the organization. “More importantly, this adoption can include the aggregation of existing storage assets, leveraging them as it makes sense,” said Crump. While worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue grew 5.1% year over year to nearly $8.8 billion during the third quarter of 2014, the SDS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35.20% over the period 2015-2019. SDS helps enterprises reduce storage infrastructure costs through efficient allocation of resources, which is the reason many large enterprises have added it to their infrastructure paradigm. Currently, the key players are EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp and VMware. FalconStor can now add its name to the list of SDS wannabes that also includes Coraid, DataCore, Dell, Hitachi Data Systems, Nexenta, Pivot3 and RedHat. Building on FalconStor’s ’15 years of innovation in virtualization, data protection and migration,’ FreeStor is ‘the first truly horizontal, software-defined storage platform for unified data services. Due to ship no later than May, the unified platform provides migration, continuity, protection, recovery and optimization for any storage environment through a single management interface – all for a single price based on managed capacity across arrays, servers, hypervisors, data centers, and the cloud, said the company. Last year was an inflection point for FalconStor, said Quinn, during the 2014 earnings call two weeks ago. ‘Throughout the year, we’ve stabilized our employees, partners and customers with updates of our new products, discussions of new products on the horizon, and launching of a new FalconStor image and message #BEFREE.’ Talking about the upcoming FreeStor announcement, he said it ‘addresses the heterogeneous storage portfolio of just about every large enterprise customer. It addresses those all-Flash array and Hybrid Flash array hardware manufacturers which do not have a software stack or do not have an enterprise ready software stack, as well as it provides...

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