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2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers Report Now Available

DCIG 2023 24 TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers Icon 600DCIG is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the 2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers Report. This report provides guidance on the TOP 5 providers enterprises should consider for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliances.

HCI Characteristics

 

The term ‘hyperconverged infrastructure’ was first popularized over a decade ago as a new paradigm for data center infrastructure. Traditionally, the three pillars of the data center architecture are compute, storage, and networking. These infrastructure stacks require time, labor, and expense to size, deploy, manage, and integrate. Further, organizations must allocate funds for specialists in these three areas. Hyperconverged infrastructures collapse these three pillars into a single system that simplifies IT infrastructure deployment and ongoing management.

It may be helpful to think of HCI as consisting of a physical appliance, usually equal to one node, that contains compute, storage, and networking components coupled with a management software layer that integrates hypervisor, storage, and networking software (each of these three abstracting the underlying resources below it) to present a unified software-defined interface for managing the infrastructure stack.

IT Administrators can create logical groups of nodes they can manage from a single interface. Often these HCI nodes are deployed in rack-scale chassis systems or rack-mountable in a standard rack. Some HCI products are available in form factors such as towers or small form factor appliances for remote office and edge locations. Organizations scale out their HCI architecture by adding more nodes to expand compute, storage, and networking capacity.

HCI Benefits

 

IT organizations have a number of issues to consider these days such as infrastructure complexity, cost management, limited resources, data growth, and cyber threats. While there is no silver bullet for meeting these issues, IT leaders look for solutions that solve problems and provide positive outcomes in many ways. HCI software fulfills these goals while addressing current IT challenges through:

Cost savings. By consolidating IT infrastructure onto a unified platform, enterprises reduce the physical space needed when compared to legacy approaches for infrastructure deployment. Less physical space results in a smaller footprint and decreased energy costs. Simplified management combined with automation features can lead to lower labor costs for IT administration. Depending upon the solution, organizations may discover they can eliminate some software licenses and their costs through capabilities bundled within their HCI deployment.

Administrative savings. Because HCI infrastructure combines compute, storage, and networking into a single platform, IT infrastructure becomes simpler. For distributed enterprises, HCI solutions allow one person to administer a broad set of data center services across hundreds and thousands of nodes from a single interface. Further, the design goal of HCI software interfaces intends the IT generalist to support their organization, reducing the need for specialized certifications. Many HCI solutions provide automation features, scripts, APIs, or deployment libraries to save time and money. Administrators can apply data governance policies across their HCI infrastructure to manage their data growth.

Scalability. Data organizations look for scalable solutions that can grow as needs require. HCI addresses data growth challenges through its flexibility to scale up or out by adding drives or nodes to their clusters. This scale-out flexibility avoids overprovisioning and reduces capital expenses.

Unified technical support. Many HCI vendors provide unified technical support for the hardware and software layer of the HCI deployment. Unified support results in faster resolution times, which in turn improves uptime and availability. Patch management is faster and simpler, reducing the risk of outages and bad actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities.

Data security and protection. When deployed, HCI solutions characteristically include data protection and security features. For security, HCI software often supports active directory integration, role-based access controls, and data encryption. For data protection, HCI software commonly integrates snapshots, replication, or cloud tiering. HA capabilities ensure continuous availability to end users and applications.

Flexibility. HCI solutions support a wide variety of applications and use cases. Such flexibility enables organizations to change resource allocations of compute, storage, and network as business needs may change.

Infrastructure at the edge. HCI has moved out of the data center to the farthest edges of fixed or mobile enterprise locations. The ability to provide a consolidated IT infrastructure at remote locations brings many benefits, including small footprints, remote management, high availability, scalability, and cost savings.

Simple deployments. HCI vendors commonly ship their appliances preconfigured and preintegrated with the HCI software and hypervisor of the customer’s choosing. Preconfigured appliances save IT teams time as they can rapidly deploy edge infrastructure as a plug-and-play solution.

Common HCI Use Cases

 

IT departments can use HCI infrastructure for a wide variety of use cases spanning across enterprise locations. Common HCI use cases include:

Data center consolidation. A key use case for HCI deployments is data center consolidation. Because HCI solutions combine compute, storage, and networking into a single system, the physical footprint is smaller, and infrastructure management becomes simpler than managing a disparate three-tier architecture.

Server virtualization. HCI’s inherent nature is virtualization. Consequently, HCI providers frequently promote server virtualization as a product use case. With server virtualization, companies can use their HCI solution in conjunction with virtualization software to enable numerous virtual machines to reside on a single HCI node.

Virtual desktops. Another popular use case involves using HCI software to provide virtual desktops to their end-users. Here the HCI solution, partnered with desktop virtualization software, enables multiple desktops to run off on an HCI node or cluster. In this way, businesses can use HCI software to simplify desktop management while providing a consistent desktop experience to end-users.

Private cloud. Many organizations are repatriating their cloud storage and workloads back to on-premises storage to avoid unexpected cloud costs and for data governance reasons. Because of its single integrated system architecture, organizations can use HCI software to enable private cloud environments. Organizations can scale out their private cloud by adding more nodes. HCI software can auto-tier storage to the cloud and sometimes be deployed as a cloud instance, opening possibilities for HCI-based hybrid-cloud solutions.

Disaster recovery. HCI can serve as a second virtual data center in the event of a disaster or extended outage at a primary data center. HCI solutions allow infrastructure managers to oversee their DR environment to ensure a seamless transition for critical workloads and applications.

Edge computing. HCI becomes a natural fit for providing IT infrastructure at the edge because of HCI’s compact footprint and remote management capabilities. Infrastructure managers can architect a highly available HCI solution with two small nodes with all the key data protection and security features necessary for edge computing use cases.

Testing and development. IT departments can use HCI to provide isolated environments for developing and testing software. Administrators can quickly create virtual machines and applications for developers. Organizations can simply scale the HCI test environment if more resources are needed.

The distributed enterprise. Infrastructure managers can leverage HCI for the distributed enterprise through its centralized management capabilities. HCI software can manage all their HCI instances through a single dashboard interface. High availability (HA) and disaster recovery features with HCI software ensure that applications and data remain available in the face of equipment failures. These features save time, reduce complexity, and improve IT governance.

In short, HCI provides organizations with flexible, scalable solutions that address today’s IT challenges. Flexible and adaptable also means that IT organizations can more quickly respond to tomorrow’s business requirements and opportunities. And given the pace of change in today’s business world, it is these types of solutions that help IT leaders succeed in meeting the changing needs of the business.

2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Rising Vendors HCI Software Solutions

 

DCIG identified 38 vendors offering HCI appliances. The general feature categories evaluated include:

• Deployment capabilities
• Data protection and security
• Product and performance management
• Technical support and warrantiesTable listing the 2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers

Based on its evaluation of these features, the following HCI providers earned DCIG TOP 5 award (in alphabetical order):

• Dell Technologies
• Hitachi Vantara
• Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd
• Lenovo
• Nutanix

Report Availability

 

The full DCIG TOP 5 report is available for download immediately at the link below. The full report contains additional details such as:

• A listing of all thirty eight solutions evaluated
• Distinguishing features shared by all DCIG TOP 5 providers
• A deeper explanation of the key similarities and differences between the DCIG TOP 5 providers
• A profile of each solution that highlights notable features that earned it a DCIG TOP 5 award.

Confidentiality and Copyright

Other than excerpts published in this announcement, the contents of the 2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers report are copyrighted and may not be republished without permission. Individuals may access the full report at no cost by following the link below.

2023-24 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise HCI Providers

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH DCIG

 

DCIG will release more DCIG TOP 5 reports in the weeks and months to come. Please sign up for the weekly DCIG Newsletter to receive notice of their availability.

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

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

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