Why HCI is growing fast both in India and abroad

By : |October 1, 2019 0

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is a key component of Digital Transformation. Amit Mehta, Director of Modern Data Center Business at Dell Technologies, says that HCI is best suited for both hybrid and multi-cloud architecture. It also has many other advantages, which is contributing to its growth story. Here he talks about the latest trends…

The expanding HCI market…

We are currently the market leaders in HCI: Globally we now stand at 32.3% market share. We have got our portfolio right across the spectrum. Now specific to India, year on year growth of the external storage market is about 23%. Quarter on quarter is about 25%. The Indian external storage market has grown on the back of all the big initiatives taken across BFSI, telco, government and the e-commerce verticals.

Within that the HCI market has had a far better run. It used to be one-third of the market about a year back. This is now 56%, likely to become 70-75% in the next few years. Just looking at the Q1 of 2019, year on year it has seen a 94% growth and quarter on quarter it has been 41%. This is the India story.

Fundamentally what this is telling you is that customers are moving towards a bi-centric approach to building IT where they are moving towards a software centric control of the network storage and compute and collapsing the traditional architecture in hyper converged.

IDC is projecting the India external storage market with a stagger of about 6% till 2023, which they upped from 4.3% from last quarter. The stagger for the HCI market is about 37.1%. Worldwide the HCI market is growing at about 20%, APJ at about 32%, but the India the HCI figures are 37.1. So India is adopting HCI in a great way.

Why HCI is gaining huge traction…

People are realizing that is order to implement their digital transformation goals, they need to accelerate the IT transformation journey and for that hybrid cloud is very critical. Customers who use hybrid cloud can release applications 10x faster and they can achieve their business goals 3x faster. One thing that is driving HCI is that it is best suited to both hybrid and multi-cloud architecture.

According to IDC research, large enterprises are having 2-3 clouds in their environment. Managing multi-cloud is a big area. HCI delivers business outcomes on a cloud operating model and that can be both on frame and off frame.

The second thing that is driving HCI is DevOps. People moved from monolithic architectures of software development to merged micro services based environments and containerized applications. The primary driver there is how quickly they can move from core to production, how quickly they can release apps to be able to deliver great customer experiences and generate revenue.

The third is business critical applications. People are increasingly looking at work loads and realizing that all of them are not equal and cloud is not necessarily the strategy to go with. Rather than only BDI, people having started implementing mixed workloads. That’s also driving HCI. Fourthly, we are in the final stage of data centre migration and data centre consolidation. So hyper-convergence gives large organizations a chance to reduce their floor space and cooling requirements.

India is ahead of the curve…

The global and Indian HCI trends are similar but India appears to be ahead of the curve because it doesn’t have the same legacy. Also, the India data rates are the cheapest. Some of the telecom revolution and digital transformation trends are there due to no legacy and that’s why we are ahead of the adoption curve. Indians are also the ones who are transforming whether it is ITES or large IT companies they are transforming global companies, so they are embracing this trend faster.

The government has also become a very emphatic player off late. There has been a push on data centres thanks to all these different schemes that the government is releasing. They are adopting cloud and pushing their departments to adopt cloud via MeitY approved vendors. After that there are disaster recovery centres which are based on HCI architecture. They are leveraging hybrid cloud. They are using Azure Stack, a hyper-converged infrastructure. NIC is a big adopter.

Among our clients, of course IT is a top implementer of HCI, but banks have started embracing hyper-convergence in their hybrid cloud infrastructure that includes large government and private banks. State governments are doing so in their modernization projects. Manufacturing and automotive sectors have also deployed hyper-convergence.

“Data first” over “cloud first”

A few years back companies took to cloud, but in the absence of workload analysis, the promise of cost alone wasn’t enough. Due to this a lot of customers started repatriation from the cloud. That is why we walk our customers through a data first methodology rather than a cloud first mind set. Data is the real value for any business and it is important to store and mine that data. You have to be in control of that data regardless of which cloud you adopt.

So through a grid we are rationalizing workloads depending on the specific needs of the customer. These could be legacy or mission critical workloads or those related to SAP, Cassandra and Python. Now workloads are nothing but applications and they are working across multiple modes of IT.

The first is physical, where you have traditional applications with regards to mainframes, which are tied to a physical infrastructure. There will be applications which are virtualized. Then there are applications which are consumed on an IaaS or SaaS model. Then multiple criteria that have to be looked into like IOPS, latency issues, compliance and security requirements. We also have to consider recovery point objectives.

Scaling up to converged and hyper-converged

For a newer set of applications where the customer is willing to buy right off the block, and who is willing to deploy a more software-defined and software controlled infrastructure can go in for converged which is still a the three-tier architecture. Our VxBlock systems are nothing but pre-engineered network storage compute which deliver highly targeted business outcomes.

For customers who want to collapse the three-tier architecture, we then position the HCI story. If customers want just a software-defined environment, we can give them vSAN from VMware which can reside on Dell servers. They can enter at a lower price point with vSAN and as they scale up to the integrated VxRail where the customer gets the complete life cycle management. For customers looking at massively data-centre scale, we have the VxRack. These are for our customers who have an affinity for VMware. We have something for bare metal customers based on open source called VxFlex, which is quite flexible. We also have the Microsoft Azure stack. So that’s the complete package.

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