This post is by: Krista Macomber, Director of Market Intelligence, TechTarget
Adoption of converged and hyperconverged infrastructure continues to grow, as buyers turn to consolidation and abstraction of functionality to decrease costs and increase efficiency with their on-premises data centers. However, the path to capturing this demand for product line managers and marketers is far from clear.
Originally, buyers perceived converged infrastructure as the packaging of compute, networking, servers and storage with common management software on a prequalified turnkey appliance. Hyperconverged infrastructure emerged as a sub-classification of converged infrastructure that allows for a storage controller and array to exist on the same server. Now, marketing lines are blurring between the two architectures – and new terms such as composable infrastructure (software that assembles compute, storage and network resources as needed) and the software-defined data center (SDDC). All of these technologies compete. It is this competition that creates urgency for product management and marketing leaders to understand nuances not just in the underlying technologies, but also in the demand and workload deployment patterns of buyers. Understanding that, one can differentiate and maximize success in this murky and challenging marketplace.
Cloud computing-driven disruption of the data center is undeniable. TechTarget’s Data Center Market Landscape report indicates that, during 2018, 20% of data center buyers plan to reduce utilization of stand-alone servers and 82% plan to increase utilization of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Specifically, 78% of data center buyers plan to increase utilization of public cloud services.
Meanwhile, 20% and 25% of data center buyers already use hyperconverged and converged infrastructure, respectively, to achieve benefits such as faster and simplified deployment and management and increased resource utilization typically associated with cloud computing model. Over the next 12 months, 70% plan to increase utilization of converged infrastructure and 80% plan to increase utilization of hyperconverged infrastructure.
The vendor landscape is also changing, with:
- Dell’s blockbuster acquisition of EMC
- Cisco’s and HPE’s shift towards owned hyperconverged infrastructure strategies through their Springpath and SimpliVity buys, respectively.
- Hypergrid (Gridstore’s) acquisition of managed hosting provider DCHQ and subsequent shift to an as-a-service-focused business model.
- Nutanix’s cadence of acquisition activity, such as its Netsil buy, to accelerate its ability to hyperconverge cloud environments
This is driving significant market confusion around not only converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, but also broader software-defined storage and networking and private and hybrid cloud buzzterms.
Cutting through this noise, brand/reputation and minimal disruption to architecture are table stakes join simplified management and improved TCO as table stakes from the converged and hyperconverged infrastructure buyers’ perspective. To effectively differentiate, marketers and product line leaders must these macro-trends as well as finer nuances such as:
- The increased scrutiny around product feature sets in the comparatively more nascent hyperconverged infrastructure space.
- Greater premium on ease of implementation in the hyperconverged infrastructure side – reflecting comparative maturity of IT teams within organizations purchasing converged infrastructure.
- Prevalence of data-centric workloads including database, data warehousing and data protection/backup – as well as disaster recovery-related features – in the hyperconverged infrastructure space to reduce the costs and complexities of legacy storage implementations.
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