Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) had been on a steady path of growth since the term was first coined at the turn of the decade. Now that more and more enterprises are looking to simplify their IT environments and move towards the software-defined data centre, HCI, which combines compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources in a single integrated software-based system, is fast becoming a popular architecture choice for businesses hoping to achieve that goal.
In fact, hyperconverged infrastructure is now the largest segment of software-defined storage and the fastest growing market of all the multi-billion-dollar storage segments. Just in the first quarter of 2017, IDC reported that sales for HCI increased by 65% year-on-year, accounting for about 25% (or $665 million) of the total market for all converged systems sales. Analysts expect the HCI boom to continue over the coming years, with IDC forecasting revenues to hit $7.15 billion in 2021. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that a growing number of infrastructure vendors and startups are getting into the HCI space.
Noticing this fundamental change taking place, Gartner has made several alterations in the definition and focus for this year’s Magic Quadrant, releasing its first Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure.
Gartner saw it fit to position Nutanix as a clear Leader in this space, thereby validating the company’s leadership in the very market it pioneered and of its vision to become the next generation operating system for the enterprise cloud. Gartner credited Nutanix, with over 7,800 hyperconvergence customers worldwide, for excelling in the following dimensions:
overcoming I&O leaders' initial fears of investing in a relatively new market player
raising confidence levels in its product's maturity and performance to continually add scale and diversify deployments
Let’s take the Acropolis Operating System (AOS) as an example of the latter. Among the two main benefits of Nutanix Acropolis are the scalability and simplicity that it offers through the combination of virtualisation and software-defined storage in order to create an integrated hyperconverged platform that is capable of running nearly any workload. Since the platform includes a license-free hypervisor, it also gives businesses the option and ability to ditch expensive proprietary hypervisors – thereby reducing IT costs.
With the release of AOS 5.5 in December last year, Nutanix introduced over 50 new features and enhancements to empower users to improve performance, resilience, agility and better protect their data. Meanwhile, the inclusion of Nutanix Calm, allowed businesses to seamlessly select, provision, and manage their applications across the whole infrastructure for both private and public clouds.
Barely four months later, the company released AOS 5.6 to pick up where 5.5 left off and deliver a number of additional improvements including microsegmentation, greater deployment flexibility, performance improvements and scale-out capabilities.
Nutanix may be faced with fierce competition from major data centre vendors as well as up-and-coming startups that are vying for a larger market share in the HCI space, but it has over the years positioned itself as having a best-of-breed strategy with software-defined HCI that is, according to Gartner, “intelligence-based, multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud with unified management”.
As Nutanix continues to deliver steady and consistent improvements to its HCI platform, powered by Acropolis, it becomes an increasingly persuasive choice for IT organisations looking to build their enterprise clouds and software-defined data centres.
For more on Nutanix Acropolis, you can download our DSA Spotlight here.