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Hyperconverged Infrastructure Taking Off

Hyperconverged systems are taking off at a rapid clip in the U.S. as businesses look to overcome the complexity of traditional storage infrastructure, according to a new report released by Technology Business Research.

In fact, demand for hyperconverged infrastructure is such that the firm estimates the U.S. hyperconverged market will reach $10.6 billion over the next 12 months. Businesses of all sizes are deploying hyperconverged systems to improve the performance and management of storage-centric workloads, TBR said.

"This is a market that's accelerating with rather impressive speed," Christian Perry, principal analyst and data center practice manager, said in a recent TBR webcast on the impact of software-defined infrastructure.

Hyperconverged systems integrate compute, storage, networking and virtualization into a single appliance or software system installed on commodity hardware. Vendors include startups such as Nutanix and SimpliVity and established players like VMware.

In some cases, organizations -- particularly small businesses that aren't already virtualized -- are using hyperconverged infrastructure as an on-ramp to software-defined storage, he said. There aren't a lot of off-the-shelf options for software-defined storage, while hyperconverged infrastructure is easily purchasable and easily digestible, he said.

At the same time, however, customers are relying on vendors to help them deploy and manage hyperconverged products, TBR found. While customers expect the technology to be quick and easy to deploy, they're finding that it requires time and resources. Consequently, most are buying services to offset the burden on in-house IT teams, the firm said.

A report published earlier this year by ActualTech Media with SimpliVity found that virtual desktop infrastructure is a top use case for hyperconverged infrastructure.

The software-defined storage market is still taking shape, TBR analysts said in the recent webcast. There's no true definition of software-defined storage and no real standards, Stanley Stevens, senior analyst, said. The goal for SDS is to manage heterogeneous, multi-vendor storage environments, and the technology faces challenges with regards to back-end planning and administration.

With regards to software-defined networking, TBR sees mainstream adoption of SDN happening in 2019, with most enterprises having some form of SDN in their networks, Perry said.

While there "continues to be fear in out there in the customer arena around anything software-defined," the bottom-line is that software-defined infrastructures "will be a game changer moving forward," Perry said.

Perry also said, in response to a question from an audience member during the webcast, that hyperconverged infrastructure doesn't appear to pose any challenges related to security. In fact, companies reported to TBR that the technology allowed them to implement security more effectively, he said.