Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) is the fastest-growing part of the IT infrastructure market today as businesses of all sizes are looking at substantial infrastructure simplification. As per the IDC Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker results for Q1 2018, Dell EMC has successfully gained the top spot (by units) in the HCI Industry in India, registering revenue worth $363 million and a 29.6 percent share for HCI in Q1 2018. In an interaction with CXOToday, Niladri Saha, GM- Modern Infrastructure, Dell EMC India discusses the growth trends in the HCI business in India and Dell EMC’s strategy to maintain the leadership position in this segment.
CXOToday: What are the factors driving the demand and growth for HCI?
Niladri Saha: Steady acceptance of cloud, mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the demand for HCI. Over the past few years, large and mid-size enterprise organizations have recognized the value of HCI due to the simplicity of deployment, ease of scaling and cost efficiencies.
Hyper-Converged infrastructure is one of the most rapidly-growing methods for deploying IT in the data center, as IT departments seek ways to adjust to their new role in business and new responsibilities entrusted on them. HCI is now a mainstream technology for the modern data center. IT organizations are looking beyond non-mission-critical use cases for HCI deployment. They are choosing HCI for the high value it delivers to simplify infrastructure deployment and management, make more use of cloud services, scale for more data, and better support business applications. In recent years, IT organizations have looked to converged infrastructure (CI) to address their requirements. Now, many companies are instead choosing hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), especially as part of a server refresh, to provide a flexible core system for running even mission-critical applications. Companies are using HCI for multiple application workloads, including collaboration and productivity, engineering and technical, big data and analytics, and remote office computing. India is one of the forerunners in adopting new technologies like hyper-convergence. India has already seen the benefits of hyper-convergence for its customers and has begun adopting it in large scale.
CXOToday: What is the adoption rate for HCI by enterprise in India and worldwide?
Niladri Saha: As per analysts’ view, the generic market size of hyper-convergence in India is about USD 35 to 40 million at present. Because of its rapid year-on-year growth at the rate of 46 to 50 percent, the market is expected to be USD 63 to 65 million by 2019 in India alone.
Worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 19.6 percent year over year to $3.2 billion during the first quarter of 2018, according to IDC. The hyper-converged systems segment witnessed another explosive growth quarter. Revenue from the sales of these systems grew 76.3 percent year over year during the first quarter, totaling $1.2 billion worth of sales. This amounted to 38.3 percent of the total converged systems market. Organisations around the world are increasing their investments on datacenter technologies that eliminate inefficient silos and support business-centric decisions rather than infrastructure-centric decisions. Hyper-convergence is expected to be the next logical step for organizations looking to improve their workloads and infrastructure, while keeping cost under control.
CXOToday: How do you plan to maintain the market leadership?
Niladri Saha: Hyper-converged infrastructure witnessed a significant growth YOY and is expected to grow at CAGR of 45%. We believe that the only way to maintain leadership is by ensuring customer delight. We work closely with our customers to help them transform their IT thereby, helping them to increase their productivity, performance, scalability and also reducing the footprint in their data center through our HCI solution. Adoption of Hyper Converged technologies are no longer restricted to Non-Critical/perimeter workloads. HCI is slowly emerging in enterprise applications alongwith bringing new opportunities in the market.
CXOToday: Could you call out a few key HCI trends in 2018?
Niladri Saha: The hyper-converged infrastructure had begun by converging the storage environment. Software defined storage was leading that initiative where, instead of customers buying physical hardware for storage, they started encouraging installation of software for storage. Now it has gone beyond storage to compute to network and is encompassing areas of creating your own private cloud. We have an offering VxRack SDDC powered by VMware software called VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) for the same.
Apart from providing hyper-convergence around storage, compute and network, it also provides customers with self-service portals. On these portals, they can put in their requirements of different business units, which gets automatically provisioned from the system based on the department’s approval. This is like an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application built into the system wherein without any manual intervention, it creates the kind of resources the department wants, delivers it and at the end of the duration, it creates a report stating how much of that, resource has been utilized by the said department. It also generates a bill on the cost to the department.
IT will become more like a self-serviced division, work like an automated arm, and create better revenues for that department. However, right now, the customers have just started in this direction and not all of them are mature to adopt it. However, this would be the future of hyper-convergence.
CXOToday: How matured is the Indian market with respect to HCI?
Niladri Saha: HCI is the fastest-growing part of the IT infrastructure market today as businesses of all sizes desire for substantial infrastructure simplification. In India, hyper-converged infrastructure systems are attracting the largest amount of interest among the converged systems portfolio. Its software-defined approach, which abstracts the compute, storage and networking on a single plane, is a key factor for the rise of interest in HCIS. HCIS’s single-vendor support model and ability to match a large number of use cases offers greater benefits and eliminates complexity. Customers across all industries can benefit from the adoption of converged systems. Organizations large and small, from all industries, who are striving to modernize their infrastructure in order to compete in today’s digital age will benefit from an integrated system and converged infrastructure environment.
We are currently seeing multiple user groups utilize HCI in their ecosystem. These include the datacenter Operations manager, software developers and analysts, remote workers, IT service providers and offices with limited IT skills.