Recently, I had the opportunity to join Doron Kempel, CEO of SimpliVity, for an interview with Stu Miniman from Silicon Angle. With summer about to end and VMworld just around the corner, the timing was perfect for Stu and Doron to chat about trends in the hyperconverged infrastructure category. The biggest take-away overall is that hyperconverged infrastructure is at an inflection point.
There are several dynamics that support this assertion. First, hyperconverged infrastructure is now being adopted for mainstream use cases, such as data center consolidation, and not just for project specific use cases such as VDI and ROBO. As a proof point to this shift, Doron shared the story of a Global 50 Financial Services firm that has adopted SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. This enterprise had a complex multivendor IT environment deployed across six, non-optimized data centers that was far too costly and complex to maintain and scale. After extensive evaluation of legacy infrastructure alternatives, including traditional storage solutions, and other hyperconverged infrastructure vendors, this company chose SimpliVity’s OmniStack solution with Cisco UCS Servers. The firm expects to save $100M over a five-year period by modernizing and unifying infrastructure, consolidating six global data centers down to three, built from the ground up to simplify operations and optimize power, space and cooling. Doron shared a before and after picture for this customer at one of their data centers, where they went from two rows with 34 racks of servers, storage, SAN switches, and other appliances to just 61 OmniStack systems on Cisco UCS servers.
Second, the entrance of mainstream IT infrastructure providers like Cisco, Dell, and HP Enterprise is another proof point that hyperconverged infrastructure is at an inflection point. Stu pointed out that there are now well over 30 vendors who claim to be in this segment and the hyperconverged infrastructure category is now estimated by Wikibon to be about $1.5B in size, with this growth largely coming at the expense of declining sales of traditional HDD based storage. However, what remains to be seen is whether incumbent vendors, who largely entered the category late, will be able to catch up to leaders such as SimpliVity.
Stu then asked Doron about SimpliVity’s trajectory relative to VMware, which opened up an interesting discussion on this very topic. Doron pointed out that it took a full 10 years before a viable contender to VMware emerged with Microsoft Hyper-V. This validates that it is typically difficult for incumbent vendors to close the gap on new technologies, even though there are significant incentives to do so. Will a similar dynamic occur in the hyperconverged infrastructure market?
To discover more about hyperconverged infrastructure and its momentum, watch the full interview here.