”Infrastructure needs for new age workloads will drive server market growth in 2015”

By : |January 12, 2015 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Dell has established its leadership in the x86 server market in India, as it beat close competition, HP in revenue terms and rose to the top spot for the first time, with an impressive market share of 38 percent.

Dell shipments more than doubled, while all major players saw a decline in server shipments in Q3, 2014, as per the latest IDC figures.

To understand the secret sauce behind this success, we spoke to Manish Gupta, director of Enterprise Solutions Group, Dell India. It is Dell’s ability to address the growing demand for richer IT configurations for critical, higher end workloads with a deeper geographic accountability, which helped it to get to the top, said he.

                                 

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Gupta explains how Dell has also overhauled its GTM strategy completely in India post privatization to widen its footprint in the market and how the server major now looks to engage customers with new end-to-end solutions offerings, such as data centre services and infrastructure solutions, etc.

What are the factors contributing to the x86 server market growth in India?

There are three important factors that are contributing to the growth of the x86 server market.

Firstly, organisations are looking to find new and better ways to run IT infrastructure by using or deploying some of the new age workloads.

Secondly, organisations are looking to refresh existing infrastructure

Thirdly, a lot of organisations are looking at moving from legacy infrastructure to open and standard based systems.

We see tremendous growth especially in the Communications & Media, IT & ITES, Banking, government and Retail verticals (including e- commerce). The business activities around the mentioned verticals have largely contributed to the growth of the x86 server market In India. Also, noteworthy to mention is the advent of a stable government at the center, which has provided an encouraging signal to the overall business environment in India.

The IDC Q3 numbers are quite impressive for Dell. What are the factors that helped you to brush off the competitions?

Dell has been focused in its approach as an end-to-end solutions provider and this year we wanted to ensure that our solutions reach customers across the nation including tier 2 and tier 3 locations. To facilitate this, we launched the go-to-market strategy with clear geographic accountability for all regions. As a result, we have widened our reach and this has contributed to our growth. We have also deepened engagements with existing customers who were looking for richer IT configurations for critical, higher end workloads.

In line with our strategy we are now engaging deeper with customers and offering end-to-end solutions such as data centre build/migration services as well as infrastructure solutions. Our innovative 13th generation PowerEdge server portfolio launched last quarter and the recently launched FX2 servers, which is a modular offering, can be tailored to the customer workload including compute, storage and networking, All of these innovations and strategy continue to add to the growing success.

But, HP still leads the market in terms of unit shipment. Do you see the gap diminishing soon in the coming quarters? What’s your game plan to achieve the target?

We are continuing to innovate on our go to market strategy to increase our footprint across various verticals and geographical segments. The benefits of this are already visible in our Q3 results and we will continue to deliver gains in the market in coming quarters. We aim to carry on with the good work, and proactively address customer pain points at every juncture of our relationship.

What kind of growth do you see in 2015 from the technology refresh cycles?

In 2015, we see growth coming not just because of technology refresh cycle but also the addition of new capabilities in customers’ infrastructure. The advent of new age workloads is fundamentally shifting the ways in which infrastructure is being deployed – be it private, hybrid or public cloud, big data, analytics. These workloads are relevant to all the verticals and we expect the growth in this year to be led by technology refreshes aided by deployment of these technologies.

Hyperscale datacenters consume about 20 percent of shipments worldwide. How do you plan to tap into this growing base of hyperscale customers?

We recently conducted a survey ‘Future Ready IT Survey’ in association with PSB research. The survey findings indicated that 75% of organisations globally and 90% of Indian organisations are interested in making their IT work like hyperscale types. Thus the interest levels are high and we are ensuring that this need is addressed to the best extent possible through our products and solutions across the server, storage and networking space.

Hyperscale typically links to software defined infrastructure (SDx) for the better utilization of resources and providing resilient services. Dell has enabled in its servers, storage, networking products and solutions the ability to work with SDx systems and technologies. For instance, in our 13 G servers and FX2 we have software technologies to allow customers to manage easier and better and get the most out of these systems, talking about storage, our own technologies and solutions from alliance partners forms a very credible value proposition in terms of SDs, In Networking we are the leading SDN provider with existing deployments in India and the most flexible infrastructure in terms of SDN ready. With all this we are raising the bar in SDx offerings in the industry today.

That said we are increasingly noticing increasing interest from customers across verticals in deploying these technologies in their infrastructure to get to the hyperscale benefits.

Do you see a considerable demand for hyper converged infrastructure in India?

There is an increase in demand for converged infrastructure in India. Hyper-convergence is the next step to this, it makes the functioning of datacenters radically simpler and more efficient. With the interest already generated by converged infrastructure in India and many Indian organisations interested in making their infrastructure work like hyperscale times (refer question 8), we foresee a lot of demand in hyper-converged technologies as well. Hyper converged infrastructure makes use of software-defined architectures that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies in a solution supported by a single vendor.

In line with the trend, we have partnered with Nutanix and also offer the Evo-Rail solution from VMware. With a number of organizations opting for converged infrastructure in India, the offerings from dell offer an excellent approach to designing, building and managing hyper-converged infrastructure.

What will be the impact of Open Compute Project on hardware designs?

We have been a part of the Open Compute Project since its inception and are continuing to invest and contribute to the community. At the same time we are optimizing our infrastructure to take advantage of some of the benefits that open compute delivers. Our philosophy is standard based, open systems and we are continuing to develop products and solutions that do not lock customers in to a specific platform.

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