Hyperconvergence is a term that at first glance could baffle the best of IT brains.
Is it a storage technology? Is it a network technology? Is it virtualisation. Is it software defined? It is all of these. It scales up? It scales out. It promises much.
Doron Kempel, is one of the founders and CEO of Simplivity, a hyperconvergence technology company founded in 2009.
“When I think of hyperconvergence,” he says “it is moving from doubt to relevance, and understanding. There was scepticism about hyperconvergence but now it is a question of how far up the market can it go.”
Some views, definitions and attributes on Hyper converged:
Gartner – May 2016:
The market for hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) will grow 79 percent to reach almost $2 billion in 2016, propelling it toward mainstream use in the next five years, according to Gartner, Inc.
HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24 percent of the market, by 2019. Although the overall integrated systems market is growing, other segments of the market will face cannibalization from hyperconverged systems, Gartner analysts said.
Gartner defines HCIS as a platform offering shared compute and storage resources, based on software-defined storage, software-defined compute, commodity hardware and a unified management interface. Hyperconverged systems deliver their main value through software tools, commoditizing the underlying hardware.
Hyperconverged.org on the attributes of hyperconvergence
- Elasticity: Hyperconvergence makes it easy to scale out/ in resources as required by business demands.
- VM-centricity: A focus on the virtual machine (VM) or workload as the cornerstone of enterprise IT, with all supporting constructs revolving around individual VMs.
- Data protection: Ensuring that data can be restored in the event of loss or corruption is a key IT requirement, made far easier by hyperconverged infrastructure.
- VM Mobility: Hyperconvergence enables greater application/workload mobility.
- High availability: Hyperconvergence enables higher levels of availability than possible in legacy systems.
- Data efficiency: Hyperconverged infrastructure reduces storage, bandwidth, and IOPS requirements.
- Cost efficiency: Hyperconverged infrastructure brings to IT a sustainable step-based economic model that eliminates waste.
For Simplivity, hyper convergence is about bringing cloud economics to legacy IT with better performance and resiliency through the use of software.
The proof point for Simplivity says Mr Kempel is a deployment which runs 4,000 VMs on 125 systems in a production environment in a financial services data centre handling Oracle databases, the MS suite, VDi, dev and test and web – all managed by a single person.
A hyper convergence system, says Mr Kempel is storage in a server, running VMware that eliminates SAN suites. It is of course also much more.
The initial scepticism about hyper convergence was around it only being useful for VDi – and like many new technologies there was a fragmented market with each firm offering its own flavour of exactly what it meant, he says.
Not just storage on a server
As for the competition and the market there is continuous development at play.
Says Mr Kempel, “Nutanix chose an open source Linux file system. It was developed in 2006 when flash and de dup was not around. We set up in 2009 and we started shipping in 2013. We developed our own file system and our own object store with proven enterprise capability. We have a complete solution. I have Global 50 fifty companies running Simplivity hyperconvergence technologies. Simplivity focuses on data services, the primary storage and around that and we think we’ve come up with the equivalent of an X86 type technology for hyperconvergence.”
Kempel says, “We’re great cheerleaders for Nutanix success. It is helping the market and pushing how far up the market we can go. The industry needs simplicity – built on all flash storage data centres and hyperconvergence is the answer for moving up and out across more media.”
Last month Gartner named Simplivity as a leader in hyperconverged systems.
At the time Mr Kempel said: “Hyperconvergence has reached an inflection point in the market and is moving toward greater mainstream adoption. The largest global enterprises are modernizing their data centers with SimpliVity, including a Fortune 50 financial services firm that standardized on SimpliVity for 100 percent of applications, including mission critical, thereby reducing data center costs by 75 percent and footprint by ten-fold.”
Profile: Doron Kempel Chairman and CEO, SimpliVity
Before starting SimpliVity, Doron Kempel was the Founder and CEO of Diligent Technologies, a pioneer in Enterprise Data Deduplication. Diligent was acquired by IBM in April 2008. Prior to Diligent, Doron served as Vice President and General Manager at EMC. He holds Law and Philosophy degrees from Tel Aviv University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University.