This is the third year Evaluator Group has conducted a study into hyperconverged infrastructures (HCIs) in the enterprise, based on survey data and interviews with enterprise information technology (IT) professionals. This year, the survey added questions about converged infrastructures (CIs) as well, asking for information on the uses and usefulness of these technologies, including: where these integrated infrastructures were deployed, which products were considered, how they were evaluated, what their relative strengths and weaknesses were, etc. A number of findings came out of this research.
HCI is growing in enterprise IT and being used for more mission-critical workloads than in the past 3 years. Companies using CI and those using HCI are increasing their commitments to these technologies, with the primary drivers for CI and HCI projects being consolidation of IT infrastructures. From a product perspective, the HCI market is also consolidating around the large platform vendors each providing its own HCI solutions, with VMware vSAN software or Nutanix software being the most common. In the CI market, Dell EMC VxBlock was chosen most often by companies with a CI solution deployed and by those in the evaluation phase. When these two technologies were compared, HCI was deemed to have better economics and CI better performance.
The initial study in 2016, sought some basic information from IT professionals at large companies (1,000 or more employees) that had deployed HCI or were evaluating or planned to evaluate an HCI solution. It asked which products they evaluated and / or deployed, the use cases they had in mind, and what criteria were the most important in their decision to choose one HCI product over another.
It was clear from the first study that HCI had a place in large companies, but it was not used for everything. So, in addition to asking what products were chosen and the use cases, last year’s study added questions about why not HCI, which workloads or use cases were not a good fit for this technology, and what the reasons were for that determination. The question of whether HCI was really “enterprise ready” was put to IT practitioners in large companies, and what the reasons were for that conclusion. Survey results were augmented with interviews to help clarify responses and gain a better understanding of motivations behind those responses.
The objectives of this year’s study were to compare products, decision variables, use cases, and other specifics about HCIs in enterprise environments with last year’s data. Like last year, respondents were asked where they saw HCI as a good fit and where they did not, as well as what the primary drawbacks were to this technology. This year, questions about CI were added as well, asking most of the same questions that were asked about HCI: which CI products they are using or evaluating, what use cases and attributes drove them to consider a converged solution (or to not consider CI), and what characteristics of this technology were most important to their decision.
The survey asked IT professionals who had familiarity with both CI and HCI products to rate these technologies based on a range of characteristics that included performance, economics, resiliency, scalability, flexibility, and simplicity. Comparisons were also made between CI and HCI use cases, drivers, decision factors, and several other areas.
This research study is available for purchase. Click here for more information, a full Table of Contents and a Table of Figures.