10 Hyperconvergence Trendsetters

Converged infrastructure is so last year; hyperconvergence is all the rage now. Here are 10 vendors that are leading the hyperconverged trend.

Network Computing Editors

November 29, 2016

10 Slides

Hyperconverged infrastructure has quickly become one of the hottest trends in IT today. There are dozens of companies, from startups to established vendors, touting systems that integrate compute, storage, virtualization resources, networking and other software components.

Howard Marks, Network Computing contributor and Interop speaker, noted that the term "hyperconverged" was coined in 2012 by former VMware CTO Steve Chambers. Storage consultants the Taneja Group also lay claim to the name, supposedly to describe Scale Computing's offering. Whatever the origin, it's used to differentiate new integrated appliances from startups like Nutanix from converged systems like VCE's Vblock. The introduction of VMware's EVO:RAIL platform in August brought hyperconverged systems into the mainstream lexicon.

Hyperconverged systems now make up a fast-growing part of the overall converged infrastructure market, which was estimated by Gartner (which refers to it as integrated systems) to exceed $6 billion in revenue last year.

The first generation of converged infrastructure products integrate storage arrays with servers and networking, Wikibon Principal Research Contributor Stuart Miniman wrote in a January blog post. "While these solutions offer simplicity and better economics than traditional infrastructure, there has been an opportunity to take advantage of the latest technology (including flash storage, services in software and increased density of cores) to create a new architecture that both reduces the components of infrastructure while enabling distributed solutions."

Learn more about the changing storage landscape in the Storage Track at Interop Las Vegas this spring. Don't miss out! Register now for Interop, May 2-6, and receive $200 off.

So what makes a hyperconverged system different from a converged system? In an InformationWeek blog post, Bhargav Shukla, director of product research and innovation at KEMP Technologies, described converged systems as typically consisting of "separate components that are designed to work together" compared to hyperconverged systems, which he said "are truly modular, resulting in a scale-out approach as opposed to a scale-up one."

These hyperconverged systems are usually delivered in an appliance form factor, he added.

According to SimpliVity, an early hyperconvergence player, there are a few defining features that distinguish truly hyperconverged systems, including a focus on the virtual machine, the ability to easily scale out resources by adding x86 nodes, native data protection, and a software-centric design. These systems are developed and supported by a single vendor, per SimpliVity's definition.

The ultimate goal of hyperconvergence is to enable IT departments to improve efficiency, reduce operational complexity, and quickly scale to meet growing requirements.

Lots of vendors are jumping on the hyperconvergence bandwagon. As part of our inaugural "Top in Tech" series, we've picked 10 that are leading the way and making their mark in this new hyperconverged world.

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