The dust has just settled on Super Bowl 50 and prescient sports gamblers who bet against the spread are counting their winnings and rejoicing at the Broncos drubbing of the Panthers 24-10. (And as a Patriots fan who was hoping for an alternate ending, I can only take comfort in the words of Bill Belichick, “It is what it is.”)
However, we all know that the real business of the Super Bowl is the advertisements, with over $375M spent this year alone. This brings me to this year’s weirdest Super Bowl ad from Mountain Dew featuring Puppy-Monkey-Baby. The ad promotes a new beverage called Kickstart, which combines Mountain Dew, juice, and caffeine — a hybrid of three “awesome” things that are better when combined, at least, according to the ad. The ad was one that viewers either loved or hated with no middle ground in between.
Hyperconvergence has some similarities to this ad. (Work with me here, people. It’s my charter to write about all things hyperconvergence!) What is similar is that like Kickstart, hyperconvergence is a hybrid that combines multiple IT infrastructure services below the hypervisor onto a single platform in the same way that the drink combines Mountain Dew, juice, and caffeine. (Of course, Mountain Dew already contains caffeine but let’s not quibble over details). And just like the beverage industry, in the hyperconvergence space, there are multiple flavors, from solutions that just combine servers, storage, and networking to solutions like SimpliVity that go further. If KickStart is basic hyperconvergence, SimpliVity’s solution would be considered a KickStart Plus or maybe a HyperKickStart since it combines all IT infrastructure services below the hypervisor, including global inline deduplication to reduce IOPs, capacity, and bandwidth requirements, as well as built-in data protection.
Although the Puppy-Monkey-Baby evoked many “love and hate” emotions last night, IT organizations that have adopted hyperconvergence are hyper-positive. They love it because it enables them to reduce CapEx expenditures, improve operational efficiencies, and mitigate risk. On the other hand, for the most part, those who haven’t adopted hyperconvergence aren’t haters, but simply IT teams who haven’t had the opportunity to get educated on hyperconvergence (check this report out if you fall into this camp) or believe that their status quo infrastructure suits them just fine.
And this brings me to another ad that sticks out from last night, the Amazon Super Bowl ad. IT teams who have looked at hyperconvergence and have decided that sticking with the status quo is the way to go should consider carefully the very subliminal message being delivered by this ad. The Amazon Super Bowl ad depicts how end users wish IT would operate: getting a quick response to requests. What line of business leaders and dev/test teams desire is an IT organization that can deliver infrastructure on demand at the same speed that Amazon’s Alexa answers questions from Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino. No amount of layering orchestration and automation tools on top of legacy infrastructure (kind of like putting lipstick on that scary Puppy-Monkey-Baby) will resolve the fact that silos of compute, SAN switches, storage, deduplication, data protection tools, and other discrete components are just too expensive to procure, deploy, provision, and manage.
In my wild dreams, I imagine that the Amazon ad could have gone a little bit longer after Missy Elliott debuted her song assuming close collaboration beforehand between the creative teams from Mountain Dew, Amazon, and SimpliVity. Here is what the dialogue could have looked like:
“Puppy-Monkey-Baby” is sweeping the nation and I need some infrastructure pronto to set-up a storefront to take advantage of the opportunity. Alexa, can you help me out?
Of course. My first recommendation would be to spin up some VMs in AWS. However, I would be remiss to not mention that a private cloud leveraging SimpliVity hyperconvergence is also a legitimate option since it can deliver self-service provisioning, elastic infrastructure, and a service drive operating model similar to the public cloud.
Interesting. I will leave my trusty side-kick, Jason Schwartzman, to work out the details!
And seriously, if you’d like to learn more about how hyperconvergence stacks up to the cloud, check out this recent report from the Evaluator Group.