2016 could prove to be a banner year for converged and hyperconverged technologies. In ESG's recent survey on Hybrid Cloud trends, 56% of IT planners indicated that they plan to use converged infrastructure (CI) and 70% said they plan to use hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
Why the demand? Many see CI and HCI as a way to get improved service and support of their virtualized, private cloud environments. CI and HCI vendors provide end-to-end support of the entire virtualized infrastructure stack. This can potentially enable IT organizations to remedy problems faster when they occur and improve application service levels. Other motivating factors to adopt CI and HCI include:
- Improved scalability
- Increased agility of virtual machine provisioning
- Simplified management
- Speed/ease of deployment
- More predictable costs when scaling
But before vendors with converged and hyperconverged offerings prepare to take a victory lap, one potentially sobering piece of data from the research indicates that nearly 60% of IT decision makers expect to utilize best-of-breed or point solutions over the next five years, for the bulk of their requirements. I discussed that data in a new ESG 360 video:
Generally, the most common objections with adopting converged and hyperconverged offerings are fears over vendor lock-in, cost and the fact that there are already existing investments on the data center floor. While these are understandable concerns, they can conflict with the objective of simplifying IT infrastructure deployments and ongoing management. Well staffed IT organizations can typically absorb these tasks but many businesses don’t have the people and/or skill sets to implement and manage complex virtualized environments.
Clearly there is a balance for IT to strike between maintaining some measure of vendor independence and cost efficiencies while not getting in the way of key business initiatives. Converged and hyperconverged offerings may not be the "be all end all" but it does offer a simpler path to private and hybrid cloud computing capabilities for many.
I’ll be exploring these questions in greater detail in an upcoming research project: “Private Cloud Deployment Models — Converged, Hyperconverged or Do-it-Yourself?"
Female: The following is an ESG 360 video.
John: I'm here today with Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst for cloud computing at ESG. Welcome, Colm.
Colm: Thanks John, thanks for having me.
John: As you look into the cloud market for 2016, what are some of the big trends that you'll be looking at and covering in your research?
Colm: Primarily looking at private cloud transformation and then how businesses are going to integrate the use of public cloud services, or what's sometimes referred to as hybrid cloud, what are the underlying technologies, how are they getting there. For example, let's take converged and hyperconverged.
Colm: Two platforms that are gaining a lot of adoption. In fact, we just did some recent research which shows that this year, and this is my first prediction, 2016 could be a banner year for both converged and hyperconverged technologies. In fact, 56% of the respondents to the survey indicated that they had plans for converged infrastructure and 70% indicated they had plans for hyperconverged infrastructure.
Colm: Right. That kind of tells me that there are probably use cases for both, like core to edge type stuff, so people are looking for ways to implement it across their enterprise.
John: What do you see driving that kind of demand for both converged and hyperconverged?
Colm: Great question. The first one is improved service and support which kind of makes sense because if the vendor owns the entire virtualized stack...
John: Every aspect end to end...
Colm: Right, one call, one throat to choke, but that better be a good throat to choke.
Colm: Because if you don't get good service, it all falls apart. That's, I think, one of the top ones. The other one is the speed and ease of deployment, trying to cut down on the amount of time it takes to get virtualized resources to key end users like application developers. Also, predictability of cost when scaling, so I know when I add a node, it's going to cost X number of dollars as opposed to thumb in the wind type forecasting. Then again, just this ability to have more agility, being able to do things faster. Again, we see businesses that are trying to, for example, get to more of a Dev Ops type of role where operations is in lock step with their application developers in terms of them saying, "Hey, I need resources now, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, now." You have this ability to do that through these technologies.
John: Sure. You want your infrastructure to enable that kind of model and that kind of change and business transformation not hindered.
John: Well, great stuff, Colm. Thanks for sharing some of your predictions for the coming year. To read Colm's research or his blog you can visit esg-global.com.