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Three Insights into the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Marketplace

DCIG recently completed its previously announced research into the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) marketplace. DCIG identified nearly 50 vendors that offer HCI products and anticipates publishing several DCIG TOP 5 reports from research beginning next month. In this article, DCIG analysts share several insights from that research.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market Growth


HCI concepts and products influence IT infrastructure purchasing decisions. HCI presents possibilities for simplifying IT infrastructure costs and administration. With an expected CAGR of 24.9%, the HCI market is projected to reach $32.19 billion by 2028.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Hardware and Software Offer Multiple Deployment Options


HCI products can generally be divided into HCI software products, HCI hardware products, and integrated (hardware and software) HCI products.

Vendors design HCI software products to discover, virtualize, and manage the compute, storage, and networking of its underlying components. HCI software can be licensed, downloaded, and deployed on commodity hardware, select OEM server platforms, or vendor-branded HCI hardware products. Some HCI software vendors offer deployment within select cloud platforms that integrate with on-premises deployments.

Chart of Hyperconverged Infrastructure acquisition options
Source: DCIG HCI Research

HCI hardware products combine compute, storage, and memory into pre-integrated standalone or rack-mountable appliances. Some vendors offer disaggregated HCI (dHCI) offerings that utilize storage from a separate independent storage array.

As the chart below shows, customers can acquire HCI products in several ways. Customers can purchase software-only solutions (bring-your-own hardware), hardware solutions (bring-your-own [HCI] software), or all-in-one solutions where the vendor pre-integrates the HCI hardware and software. Some HCI vendors offer their HCI solution as a fully managed service.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Hardware – HCI Platform Optimized


HCI hardware vendors build and validate their products for popular HCI software platforms like Nutanix, Microsoft, and VMware. Some HCI hardware vendors offer their own HCI software based on proprietary or open source technologies.

While many organizations prefer to standardize on a single HCI hardware and software platform, business requirements may indicate the need for more than one platform.

Some HCI hardware vendors support a single platform, but many vendors support multiple platforms.
Understanding which HCI software platforms each vendor supports is a key consideration when selecting an HCI hardware provider.

Chart showing platforms on which HCI Hardware products are optimized

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Use Cases


HCI hardware and software solutions address a wide range of use cases. The top four uses cases identified in DCIG’s research are:
1. Data center infrastructure
2. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
3. Remote office/branch office (ROBO)
4. Private cloud

Some vendors focus on just one of these top use cases, while others attempt to span the whole range.

The chart below captures use cases for HCI products selected by survey respondents or reflected by marketing material of HCI vendors. In addition use in data centers and branch offices, several vendors offer HCI solutions for harsh conditions where ruggedized equipment is required. Verticals requiring ruggedized equipment range from the manufacturing floor to the cellular communication tower, oil rig, or mobile vehicle.

Chart showing use cases for HCI in ranked order

Forthcoming DCIG TOP 5 HCI Reports


The above offers a few insights into the options and considerations for HCI purchases. Such a large pool of possible HCI partners and their offerings bring complexity for evaluating HCI products. DCIG’s TOP 5 Rising Vendor HCI Software Solutions report, scheduled for publication next month, will cover the reasons organizations should examine these solutions and identify the HCI software vendors IT decision-makers should keep at the top of their list.

DCIG TOP 5 reports help IT-decision makers:

• Understand essential factors decision-makers should consider for use cases and products.
• Save time discovering, researching, and analyzing vendors and products for consideration.
• Identify important differentiators between top vendors and their products.

Keep Up To Date with DCIG Research


To receive an announcement of this upcoming report, sign up for DCIG’s free weekly newsletter.

To learn about DCIG’s forthcoming research and publications, see the DCIG Editorial Calendar.

Technology providers interested in licensing DCIG TOP 5 reports or having DCIG produce custom reports, please contact DCIG for more information.

About DCIG: The Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG) empowers the IT industry with actionable analysis. DCIG analysts provide informed third-party analysis of various cloud, data protection, and data storage technologies. DCIG’s audiences include C-level executives, IT managers, IT professionals, magazine editors, bloggers, analysts, and providers within the IT and cloud service indust


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