The hyperconverged market continued its meteoric rise and exploded in 2018. Virtually every vendor saw growth in their product offerings. The technology is being embraced across all verticals and use cases, and for customers, its yielding real business benefits. With the expectation that market adoption will continue to rise in 2019, here are a few things I’m expecting to impact the HCI market.
First, now that HCI is considered mainstream, expect a shift in how the technology is leveraged. While the architectures can easily support mission critical applications, the reality is that organizations were still quite hesitant to leverage HCI clusters to support higher priority workloads with greater performance and reliability requirements. With the emergence of flexible deployment and consumption models, the incorporation of the latest and greatest hardware technologies (like NVMe and GPU integration), and a true need to address next-generation apps at the edge, organizations will be looking to HCI more than ever before, whether extending existing deployments or buying net new technology to support next-generation apps.
Second, on the topic of edge, HCI will continue down the path of becoming the de facto standard for smart edge deployments. Whether due to physical space restraints, scalability and performance requirements, or the need to embrace a cloud operating model on-prem, HCI, for the most part, has always been and will continue to be a great answer for the edge. This year the rubber will hit the road. Organizations will prioritize HCI to meet their edge application requirements, including support for demanding workloads from AI and IoT initiatives.
Third, hybrid cloud and orchestration will be a focal point for organizations already leveraging or looking to leverage HCI technology. Organizations want a seamless infrastructure and application management experience in hybrid environments. Many already benefit from simplified management from HCI environments alone and the expectation for hybrid management will be similar. While many vendors are already down the path of offering tools and solutions to support workload and application movement between on-premises and cloud environments, 2019 will come with more of a demand for intelligence. This is where AI and machine learning come in as an embedded feature to provide the needed insight to make the right decision, whether predicting a failure or recommending when and why applications should move and to where.
From an infrastructure standpoint, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of HCI. Some would argue last year was too, but with a focus on hybrid cloud, edge, and orchestration, things are still looking sharply up and to the right.