Saturday, November 25, 2017

Why traditional infrastructure vendors are getting into hyperconvergence

by John Lucey, VP, Northern & Western Europe at SimpliVity 

While many businesses have become accustomed to the large and complex data centres of traditional IT infrastructure, new technologies are looking to disrupt these traditional approaches.

Young, innovative IT infrastructure companies have stepped forward to shake up the status quo and provide a revolutionary alternative to traditional infrastructure – hyperconvergence.

Traditional data centres are vast and sprawling. They are a sea of wires and cables and often confusion. In many cases, they are unwieldy and expensive to operate.

All of the disparate components that make up a large traditional data centre need floor space, personnel, constant upgrades, and power and cooling. Paying for all of these expenses can have a serious impact on a business’ finances.

Customers are flocking to hyperconvergence because it delivers simple, efficient, and elastic infrastructure that is high-performing and cost-effective.

Many companies have realised the immediate benefits, such as improved stability and a reduction in physical footprint, as well as the long-term advantages, like a reduction in the amount of server related incidents, that hyperconvergence provides.

By combining advanced data services and all IT infrastructure on scalable x86 resources, hyperconvergence offers many customers a more efficient and more resilient data centre solution than legacy technology.

Some hyperconverged vendors even go beyond consolidating just servers, storage, and storage networking by integrating capabilities such as data protection and inline deduplication, as well.

Realising that hyperconvergence was disrupting the traditional storage industry, traditional infrastructure providers have rushed to market to try and compete with the technology innovators. But, are these efforts by traditional vendors too little too late?

Traditional IT providers hold some advantages over the hyperconverged pioneers. They have deep pockets, large sales forces and partner ecosystems, and have the recognisable names and market stability to get into any account.

There are still some areas where traditional vendors are lagging behind their startup competition, however. The technology innovators were able to develop their companies in stealth, focusing solely on hyperconvergence, while building pure solutions from the ground up.

The traditional vendors, though at an advantage in monetary and operational resources, have a lot of ground to make up since they began so long after their startup competition. To play catch-up, they are employing a number of strategies, including cobbling together their own solutions from existing products in their portfolios or by partnering with existing companies.

One of the factors the pure hyperconverged players don’t have to face that the traditional vendors do is the idea of cannibalising their own existing product lines as much of these vendors’ product portfolios are made up of individual components of the IT infrastructure stack – the same components that hyperconverged infrastructure replaces.

Increasingly, pressure is being placed on IT teams to be lean and “just work.” End users don’t want to know how IT is maintaining the infrastructure and finding time to work on new projects, but they do want the benefits of these actions.

With expectations that IT teams be cost-effective while providing enterprise-level performance, protection, and resiliency to the business and end users, many companies are turning to hyperconvergence to revolutionise their data centres.

With traditional vendors entering the hyperconverged market alongside the technology innovators, businesses now have more options than ever inside the data centre.