Hyper-Convergence To Be The Next Logical Step For Organizations

by July 26, 2018 0 comments

The emerging technology trends in IoT and Data Centers has created lots of opportunities as well as challenges. One of the major challenges is technology that can seamlessly gel into existing software and hardware assets and require minimum skills to continues modernizing the IT infra. We spoke to Rajesh Ramnani, Regional Director, CPSD, Dell EMC India to understand HCI and how it helps businesses.

Hyper-convergence model and how it works

Rajesh Ramnani, Regional Director, CPSD, Dell EMC India

Dell EMC’s hyper-convergence solution has two key offerings. One is our appliance-based offering, known as VxRail and the other is rack based offering called VxRack. Now, both of these categories come in two options – VMware based option wherein the end to end solution is based on the VMware software stack and the mixed hypervisor option wherein the customers have the flexibility to choose the kind of hypervisor that they would want to deploy. The reason for having two different options is predominantly because a big chunk of the market is tilted towards VMware hypervisor, hence; we have an offering dedicated to VMware. Also, there are a set of customers who would want to have flexibility. Thereby, we provide the second option as well.

Unique features of the appliance and benefits

Dell is the only vendor providing the end-to-end rack-based solution that integrates the network as a part of it. We also have management console taking care of not just the comput, memory and network but also of completely software defined solutions like self-servicing, charge back, automation that are Dell’s uniqueness. VMware being a part of Dell EMC, we are the only one having appliance based hyper-converge solution end-to-end on VMware. Jointly, we have created the hyper-convergence solution and we do not have to rely on multiple technologies to move forward on our hyper-convergence journey.

There is little doubt that HCI is becoming increasingly popular and one of the key reasons is that HCI technology enables IT to become agiler. There are numerous benefits organizations can derive from deploying HCI technology. Implementers report lower costs, improved customer experience, better productivity, and increased efficiency from their HCI deployment. Hyper-converged infrastructure is preferred for perimeter workloads, which are non-core for the business. It is also being used extensively where organizations have high scale-out requirements. With scalability and simplicity as the key factors for customers in India, HCI appliances are a right fit for businesses looking to shift from a “build yourself” to a “buy” model.

With all of its benefits, HCI technology is swiftly displacing the traditional “best of breed infrastructure.” Traditional 3-tier architectures are no longer the de facto, on-premises standard. Indeed, one of the key benefits causing the displacement of the traditional approach is the ease and speed of deployment of HCI.

Hyper-convergence Technology Challenges

The key challenge in the adoption of HCI is to ensure that an HCI setup does not become another silo in the DC. An HCI solution should integrate well with the existing technologies in the data centre. This is where the power of the portfolio of Dell technologies come to play. Our Vxrail solution is built on industry-leading VMware technology. This ensures that the solution seamlessly gels into a customer data centre, leveraging existing software and hardware assets and requiring minimum skills. Continuous modernization is also one of the key challenges for customers wanting to adopt integrated systems. This presents an opportunity for us as we are uniquely positioned to digitally transform customers by offering edge to core solutions. What sets us apart in the industry is that we can offer the full continuum of converged solutions to help our customers simplify IT – from build. Our converged portfolio can address any workload in any IT environment and deliver it based on the preferred customer experience.

Technology trends in the hyper-convergence market

HCI is becoming more and more mainstream. Customers are exploring HCI for critical workloads like DWH, design applications, SOC etc. So it is no longer about test and development and VDI workloads. Customers have started to appreciate the simplicity of HCI and are exploring it for all their virtual workloads. Hyper-convergence is expected to be the next logical step for organizations looking to improve their workloads and infrastructure while keeping the cost under control. Recent market studies indicate that the steady acceptance of cloud, mobility, and Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the demand for HCIS. By 2019, approximately 30% of the global storage array capacity installed in enterprise data centers will be deployed on software-defined storage (SDS) or hyper-converged integrated system (HCIS) architectures. Twenty percent of mission-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to HCISs by 2020.

The hyper-converge infrastructure had begun by converging the storage environment. Software defined storage was leading that initiative where, instead of customers buying physical hardware for storage, they started encouraging installation of software for storage. Now it has gone beyond storage to compute to network and is also encompassing areas of creating your own private cloud. We have an offering VxRack SDDC powered by VMware software called VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) for the same. Apart from providing hyper-convergence around storage, compute and network, it also provides customers with self-service portals. On these portals, they can put in their requirements of different business units, which gets automatically provisioned from the system based on the department’s approval. This is like an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application built into the system wherein without any manual intervention, it creates the kind of resources the department wants, delivers it and at the end of the duration, it creates a report stating how much of that resource has been utilized by the said department. It also generates a bill on the cost to the department. IT will become more like a self-service division and work like an automated arm and create better revenues for that department. However, right now, the customers have just started off in this direction and not all of them are mature to adopt it. But this would be the future of hyper-convergence.

Dell EMC’s leadership in HCI

Dell was the largest supplier in the converged market segment and the largest hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) vendor during the first quarter of 2018. Worldwide-converged systems market revenue increased 19.6 percent year over year to $3.2 billion during the first quarter of 2018, according to IDC. The certified reference systems and integrated infrastructure market generated $1.3 billion in revenue during the first quarter. This represents a 0.9 percent year-over-year decline and 41.7 percent of total converged systems revenue. Dell EMC was the largest supplier in this market segment with $641.3 million in sales and a 48 percent market share. The hyper-converged systems segment, however, saw another explosive growth quarter. Revenue from the sales of these systems grew 76.3 percent year over year during the first quarter, totaling $1.2 billion worth of sales. This amounted to 38.3 percent of the total converged systems market.

In terms of branded HCI products, Dell EMC topped the chart with $363 million in revenue and a 29.6 percent share. This represents year-over-year growth of 142 percent, compared to the overall industry segment growth rate of 76.3 percent.

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