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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VMware’s Intention to Acquire VeloCloud…

The announcement of VMware’s intention to acquire VeloCloud signals the broadening of the NSX Everywhere story. SD-WAN is a solution that offers agility, security, orchestration, and other business outcomes for remote and branch offices. It should not be considered just an MPLS replacement for the WAN with savings on bandwidth costs. At a core level, both NSX and VeloCloud’s products are based on an overlay network, which offers the flexibility to treat a logical network separately from the physical network, and this core concept has been popularized for many years via MPLS. Ironically, it’s the perceived lack of flexibility and costs of MPLS that have become the initial drivers for the popularization of SD-WAN, which promised to modernize the branch networks and WAN. VMware’s NSX Everywhere plan is similar to Cisco’s ACI Anywhere plan since it enables the core data center networks to reach out into other locations such as a public cloud. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?
Oct19

Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?

Cisco originally pitched a story focused on its latest initiatives to address the ‘IT skills and knowledge gap’, which is a big and growing problem, and while the just-released AI-powered predictive services can be folded, spindled and mutilated into a ‘talent-gap cure’, it appears more to be just a really good set of business solutions. The costs and resources required to keep the datacenter lights on can account for 70-80% of IT budgets, said Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Advanced Services, but while improving efficiencies and uptimes will pay a huge business dividend, that doesn’t mean those freed-up resources will translate into the IT skills and knowledge required to facilitate the new IT reality, digital transformation, which by one estimate will be worth $493.39 billion by 2022, and is speeding along at a CAGR of 19.1%. The new services, available immediately, fall into two categories — Business Critical Services and High-value Services — and are extensions of what the company has been providing for some time, said Palma. Services is the second largest business unit at Cisco, at $13 billion and 25% of revenues, with 90% of its services revenue recurring. A big part of the company’s competitive advantage is its installed base of 50 million networks, he told IT Trends & Analysis, and the telemetry data from that provides Cisco with a better picture of what’s going on in the IT environment than practically every other vendor. Professional services can leverage that data to help customers shift their focus from maintaining their datacenters and network infrastructures to finding new ways to improve customer services and generate revenues, he added. “At the same time we’re seeing that IT has been more defensive and they are looking to be more offensive, and that’s where we’re looking to take them.” Calling it a new portfolio of subscription services, Business Critical Services ‘deliver more capabilities including analytics, automation, compliance and security by Cisco Advanced Services’ technology experts’. “In the past it’s been called optimization,” said Palma, and as part of their ongoing focus on constant improvement, have made a number of improvements. “What we’re trying to do is give them the flexibility to move with their strategic options.” The new service benefits include helping minimize human error by: reducing complexity and cost through automation, orchestration, and technical expertise; accelerating business agility and transformation through advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities; and reducing risk with automated compliance and remediation services.The business outcome objectives are to help reduce downtime by 74%, resolve issues 41% percent faster and reduce operational costs by 21%. The other side of the services portfolio, Technical Services,...

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Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank
May18

Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank

LAS VEGAS: The second Dell EMC World is over, a variety of products and services have been unveiled, 13,500 customers, partners and staff have gone home — including me, so ignore the address above — and now comes the $60-billion-plus question, what comes next? For the ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’ like HPE’s Meg Whitman, the company is struggling to stay afloat with $50 billion in debt, it’s mired in hardware-based, commodity hell and is quickly becoming obsolete as everything moves to the cloud and IT as a Service. The reality is far different: Dell is a leader in 15 of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants; it is the largest enterprise storage vendor; it is the third largest PC vendor, but unlike many of its competitors, is growing market share and increasing ASPs. All told, the combined entity — including Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, RSA, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware — is bringing in $75 billion a year, which is not too shabby. “It’s all about show me the money,” said Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, and the company is “laughing all the way to the bank,” posting solid numbers as it closes in on its first year following the EMC acquisition. According to a recent interview with David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, the company’s focus is a long-term game, looking three to five years in the future, where they see an even more consolidated industry than today and where they are uniquely positioned as an essential infrastructure, broad-based platform. Organizations are looking to have fewer information technology suppliers, and they want the ones they retain to be strategic and more capable, he pointed out. DEW17 was all about transformation — digital, IT, workforce and security — and I reached out to a number of analysts and asked them for their views on where Dell EMC is in its own transformation, and what it should focus on for the immediate future. Their responses follow: Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, the Enderle Group: The IT market is hell bent on transformation at the moment and thanks to the promise of lower taxes and a huge ramp in valuations firms are investing in capital projects at an impressive rate so the opportunity, to quote President Trump, is HUGE! Their performance is good, the merger set them back far less than most expected largely because the execution literally set the bar for efforts like this and their old VCE unit was on the forefront as the most successful converged and hyper-converged provider. And it is these concepts that appear to be having the biggest impact on firms that truly want to change. Jaguar/Land Rover was...

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