Published on June 10th, 2015 | by Brian Suhr1
Hyperconverged is not just ready for Enterprise, it’s ready to take over the Enterprise
The hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market has been building momentum over the last several years and is only picking up speed. There is still a lot of education to be done on this architecture approach with customers, and also still plenty of hearts and minds to win over in the legacy IT world. The question that is asked often, is hyperconverged ready for the enterprise? Most have been saying yes while the laggards are trying to hold onto the old ways.
It seems like a common theme that we see announcements, press releases or hear conversations about which new enterprise logo one of these hyperconverged vendors has added to their customer base. Truth cannot be denied forever, enterprises are adopting HCI.
Today there is really a three-way battle for HCI leadership. Or maybe I should say Nutanix has clearly secured the leadership role and this leaves Simplivity and EVO:RAIL to fight for second place currently. The point is that each of these vendors are pushing each other to keep innovating and this is good for everyone. While the three leaders are currently the most relevant in the enterprise state there are almost a dozen other HCI vendors that are either new to the market or focusing on niche markets at this time. No one vendor can win this battle alone, they will need each other to help keep building momentum in the HCI direction.
Besides these vendors, there is a group of HCI vendors still in stealth mode that are preparing to bring their solutions to market. I’ve seen and talked with many of these vendors and their products are going to bring some serious competition when they come to market. Many of these companies were founded by individuals that have previously founded other successful technology companies. These stealth products are going to be far more mature when they come to market than past offerings and will seriously up the competition. They are starting out with features that include deduplication, compression, replication, API’s that some vendors still don’t have or took years to accomplish. This will help push everyone forward and also help let nature take its course and get rid of the weaker offerings.
Nutanix .Next Conference news puts everyone on notice
This week at Nutanix’s first user conference they announced and released a long list of improvements and features. Many of this will be ready this month and others will be ready by year’s end. You can read a full list of the details in my post here. The theme is that Nutanix is still focused on making infrastructure as easy as possible. But they are not content with just this mission, they want to build a control plane for the data center and cloud. All while providing organizations the freedom to move workloads between internal and externally hosted resources.
The conference heavily involved their existing customer base in the keynote and breakout sessions. They are clearly focused on their customers and educating potential customers on what they can simplify for them. This conference is getting a lot of notice from the enterprise and will only continue to fuel the interest in HCI for everyone.
It’s not the year of HCI
Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying its the year of hyperconverged, I don’t want to be labeled with that moniker. There are still some workloads that are still better suited for discrete compute and storage designs. There are also most workloads that can easily run on legacy architecture or hyperconverged, this is where I think that HCI is going to make a big impact over the next 12-18 months. The HCI vendors have been winning the VDI and dev workloads for a while now and sneaking into other use cases organically. But it’s that large piece of the market in the middle that makes up the majority of use cases that I think is going to explode with HCI deployments. At this point there should be very few objections to HCI left, unless you are not paying close enough attention.
HCI can easily account for 75% or more of the virtualized workloads that organizations are running in their data centers today. Today I think that HCI is still only accounting for a small amount of capacity in most organizations, but this is what is poised to change.
If you are an IT leader and are not already looking at HCI as an important part of your vendor space, then you are already behind. Your team is probably already been asking for the simplicity, performance and other features that HCI offers. Do not take this as a threat, adopting HCI does not mean people lose their jobs or that you cannot have both types of infrastructure deployed in your environment. But it does mean that you understand that your staff has better things that they can spend their time on that would bring value to the business.