Before I jump into the wild world of IT hypervconverged infrastructure, let’s quickly remind ourselves of the benefits ESG has seen from these types of deployments:
The above research includes additional deployment models beyond hyperconvergance, but the benefits remain relatively the same (Source: ESG Research Brief, Integrated Computing Platform Trends, August 2014.). IT simply wants an easy to deploy solution that is predictable and simple to manage. And just as we observed through ESG research presented in this infographic, the market was lighting up with hyperconverged solutions and further spotlight was placed on the market with the announcement of VMware EVO solutions at VMworld 2014.
Here is a quick (and likely incomplete list) of vendors that are busy positioning themselves in the hyperconverged market:
HP: Yes – not an original participant of the VMware EVO announcement, but HP now has an EVO offering set for GA in 2015, and add the StoreVirtual (perhaps the widest deployed) solution to this mix as well.
Maxta: First went to market early in 2014 as a storage solution, but hassince pivoted its messaging directly at the hyperconverged market.
Nimble Storage: Here is another storage vendor that pivoted some of its go to market and has teamed up with Cisco UCS to deliver SmartStack.
Nimboxx: I’ll predict these guys are about to get more attention than they have. They are KVM-based and call attention to the cost of many of these other VMware-only solutions.
Nutanix: Interesting things happening with its OEM agreement with Dell, but still not 100% clear how it will snap into Dell’s breadth of solutions.
Scale Computing: Another KVM-based solution, but a super simple UI and focus on the mid-market makes these folks worth watching.
SimpliVity: One of the pioneering vendors that re-engineered the storage architecture and delivered a complete solution, but is facing increased market pressure.
VMware: EVO solutions with Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, NetOne, and Supermicro. These solutions are going to create further competition and attention in the market once they all GA later in 2014 or early in 2015.
Why does this all matter? Convergence, whether it be full hyperconvergence or better engineering between infrastructure components that is delivered in a pre-configured turnkey manner, is here to stay. Traditional and emerging IT vendors are going to quickly have to determine how to stand out from the pack and light up their go to market campaigns and sales initiatives. Some vendors in this general market, VCE for example, are focused in on the large enterprise and are tooled with professionals that can carry an enterprise application conversation while other vendors; Maxta, for example, is still balancing its storage capabilities with hyperconvergance messaging.
The next 6 months matter! Messaging and marketing have to stand out from the adjacent IT vendor participants, and candidly, these vendors need to find ways to shorten sales cycles and get their go to market partners involved and incented so they can help transact in this new consumption model.