Top Players in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software Market for 2022 by@priya11

Top Players in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software Market for 2022

According to IDC’s Converged Systems Tracker Forecast, the HCI market is projected to reach $16.2 billion by 2023 from a figure of $9 billion in 2019. This stat reiterates and emphasizes the market potential and proliferation opportunities that each of these top players in the HCI software market can capitalize on to amplify their footprints. Moreover, Rightscale’s State of the Cloud report establishes that 80% of organizations use a hybrid cloud approach comprised of public and private clouds. HCI software facilitates seamless hybrid cloud adoption allowing IT teams to run workloads on-premises and in public clouds. HCI software tools eloquently manage applications in hybrid clouds as well as in public cloud provider environments.
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Priya Kumari

Priya: 8 years of exp. in research & content creation, spirituality & data enthusiast, diligent business problem-solver.

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Introduction


Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software (HCI) market over the years has evolved as an effective solution for modern IT operationalization resolving problems of the traditional legacy infrastructure that is comprised of sprawling, siloed, and multifarious storage solutions.


For companies that have already adopted or are looking to adopt HCI, fewer technology silos, minimal learning curve, rapid provisioning, and efficient management remain some of the prime motivations. The criticality of HCI software for modern IT organizations is indispensable. Consequently, the HCI software market has rapidly evolved. This blog examines the top players in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure software market for 2022.


What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) & What are Its Benefits?


Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software exhibits core competencies such as virtual computing, storage, networking, and management from a single instantiation running on server hardware. HCI model applies beyond the core data centers facilitating competitive advantage for IT organizations by accelerating time to market for new apps and services, smoothing hybrid or multi-cloud adoption and edge computing. The model mitigates the challenges accompanying scalability, flexibility, adaptability, complexity, cost, and risk associated with legacy systems by:


  • Deploying automation for faster service deliveries.
  • Aligning policies to workloads instead of their individual hardware constructs.
  • Reducing the learning curve by familiarizing common and extensible management solutions
  • Optimizing cost and operational efficiencies.
  • Enabling better security models for future-proofing the IT infrastructure.
  • Facilitating benefits of hybrid cloud in the form of consistent infrastructure and operations across diverse environments that supports smooth operationalization and migration of applications as and when needed.
  • Extending proven models of virtualization and management to any environment to support any application.
  • Leveraging integrated software stack to streamline operations and effortlessly embrace and ride the wave of digital transformation.
  • Leveraging core competencies for HCI software such as virtual compute, storage and networking, using a scale-out, shared-nothing architecture combined with a unified "single pane of glass" and additional core capabilities such as local, direct attached storage (DAS) in each node; enterprise-grade, high availability (HA) for mobility, for both compute and storage; enterprise-grade data services (e.g., deduplication, erasure coding, and compression) and offering some level of choice in server & network hardware.
  • Offering high-performance storage & scaling (similar to virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI) that's a benchmark for customers seeking affordable, scalable, and simple-to-operate infrastructure cloud for supporting an array of workloads including complex, core business applications.
  • Emerging as a mission-critical modern infrastructure for cloud-native applications.
  • Accelerating the provisioning of application resources.
  • Enabling flexibility to quickly adjust to changing business requirements, monitoring the quality of service, and rapidly reacting to issues.
  • Contributing to increased agility, allowing IT departments to quickly scale compute and storage resources by adding more nodes to existing clusters without taking the application offline.
  • Helping organizations control both capital expenditures as well as recurring expenses by using industry-standard components, scaling incrementally, and leveraging automation for achieving the desired levels of operational efficiencies.
  • Providing perceptual licensing benefits by consolidating infrastructure.


It can be noted that network management is required for HCI software; however, it's optional. It can always be enabled through integrated third-party software by the HCI software provider. Also, HCI software facilitates the convergence of software containers and container orchestrator systems such as Kubernetes to facilitate efficient management of cloud-native architecture.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant & the Top Players in Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software Market

Here’s what Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software looked like as of  November 2021:

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According to IDC’s Converged Systems Tracker Forecast, the HCI market is projected to reach $16.2 billion by 2023 from a figure of $9 billion in 2019. This stat reiterates and emphasizes the market potential and proliferation opportunities that each of these top players in the HCI software market can capitalize on to amplify their footprints.


Moreover, Rightscale’s State of the Cloud report establishes that 80% of organizations use a hybrid cloud approach comprised of public and private clouds. HCI software facilitates seamless hybrid cloud adoption allowing IT teams to run workloads on-premises and in public clouds. HCI software tools eloquently manage applications in hybrid clouds as well as in public cloud provider environments.


Let's have a look at each of the HCI software players featured in Gartner's Magic quadrant above (as leaders, visionaries, and niche players):


1.     Nutanix


Nutanix emerged as a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant. Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure by Nutanix is amongst the best HCI solutions in the market for any kind of tech refresh helping organizations move away from a traditional legacy 3-tier architecture.


Matt Eastwood, senior vice president of IDC said, “With a leading 52% market share in the hyperconverged infrastructure market, Nutanix has demonstrated its ability to radically simplify data storage for all size enterprises … Their next big opportunity is to tackle the inherent cost and complexity of legacy virtualization stacks, and elevate IT teams so they can focus on driving business.”


Since this statement was made by Matt in 2015, Nutanix has come along a long way in terms of capitalizing on the evolving market opportunities and customer demands. They are delivering invisible infrastructure for next-generation enterprise computing with great efficacy and have a diversified geographical presence among service providers and clients from midsize and large enterprises.


The company has enhanced its HCI solutions to enable unified storage capabilities (such as ransomware signatures, data age analytics, tiering to S3-compatible object storage, and added disaster recovery (DR) replication of file shares), application life cycle automation, cost governance, health monitoring, and AI-driven operations.


Nutanix software architecture is compatible with Nutanix NX & specific Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Lenovo, and Fujitsu hardware offerings, as well as on several third-party servers and bare-metal Amazon EC2 instances.


Pros


  • Nutanix Acropolis supplements the company’s core competencies of the flagship hyperconverged product offering flexibility to the client to choose the best application platform technology while allowing them to incorporate an open platform for virtualization and application mobility. With Nutanix Acropolis architecture organizations achieve the much-needed operational flexibility that runs on and migrates to any type of VM and or can be seamlessly containerized. Nutanix Acropolis infrastructure allows decisions to be made based on application performance, scalability, and economic considerations and is comprised of three foundational components Distributed Storage Fabric, App Mobility Fabric, and Acropolis Hypervisor.

  • Nutanix Prism infuses simplicity into infrastructure management, featuring innovative One-Click technology to streamline time-consuming IT tasks and includes one-click software upgrades for more efficient maintenance, one-click software upgrades for more efficient maintenance, one-click insight for detailed capacity trend analysis and planning, and one-click troubleshooting for rapid issue identification and resolution. Nutanix Prism is more than one-stop management and cluster visualization tool for IT administrators allowing them to benefit from the convergence of storage, compute, and virtualization resources, advanced machine learning, and true customer-grade user experience with sophisticated search technology to simplify management tasks.

  • Nutanix is supported by a large community of technology leaders who recognize the need to drive down the datacenter cost and complexities.

  • Nutanix partners have tested the ecosystem to ensure that applications and guest operating systems that run on Nutanix Acropolis and Acropolis Hypervisor with no change to VMs.

  • The breadth and depth of Nutanix HCI software and its phenomenal customer service have resulted in customer loyalty and a Net Promoter Score of 92.

  • Nutanix provides an infrastructure for hybrid cloud enabling unified management, consistent tooling, and application, data, and license portability between the edge, data center as-a-service (through partners), and public cloud (Nutanix Clusters) deployments.

  • Nutanix unifies multiple workloads and data services.


Cons


  • Nutanix HCI might not be a cost-effective solution for deployments that don’t require advanced functionalities or those not leveraging the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor which can be the case with many small and medium-sized organizations.
  • Despite having invested in hybrid and multi-cloud capabilities, the customer traction for Nutanix Clusters' public cloud is still average, currently confined only to AWS.
  • The customers have to use CLI for advanced functionality or troubleshooting capabilities that aren’t incorporated in the GUI.


  1. VMware


VMware is a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant. Their offerings are majorly focused on hybrid cloud, cloud-native, VDI, and edge use cases. The operations of VMware are geographically diverse and its clients tend to be midsize and large enterprises. VMware expands on the capabilities of HCI Mesh, and its software-defined approach to computing and storage disaggregation, enabling shared capacity from HCI clusters to non-HCI clusters. VMware vSAN provides the simplest path for developing a true hybrid cloud architecture. vSAN allows one to manage to compute and storage with existing tools within 30 days of adoption considerably reducing the time to upgrade, update, patch compute, and storage resources.


Pros


  • VMware has collaborated with public cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud to support HCI deployments within those public cloud environments and has jointly engineered hybrid cloud and multi-cloud support. This entire model is service consumption-based and largely beneficial for the clients.

  • VMware's significant software installed base comprises a large I&O talent pool comprising of the skills to hire from.

  • VMware claims to be an enterprise worth $12 billion as revealed in its FY21 results. Owing to its global visibility support and trust risks are very sparse which indeed are a big concern if one is going with smaller providers.


Cons


  • VMware's HCI offerings are premium class and there is lesser price competitiveness when the cost is a heavily weighted consideration in the vendor selection process.

  • The configuration of the vSAN software can be perplexing owing to multiple storage design considerations being involved.

  • vSAN doesn’t support other hypervisors beyond ESX; however, other hypervisors can use vSAN storage through SAN iSCSI and file services.


3.     Microsoft


Microsoft is a visionary company in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and serves as a trendsetter among HCL solution providers in the field. In this Magic Quadrant, Microsoft is focused on providing a hybrid cloud solution that integrates on-premises and edge, VMs, and container services into the Azure cloud. The vendor’s operations are geographically diversified and its clients tend to be midsize to large enterprises.


Azure Stack HCI is focused on providing a hybrid cloud solution that integrates on-premises and edge, VMs, and container services into the Azure cloud.


Pros


  • Microsoft provides organizations with a comprehensive edge, core data center, and cloud portfolio, with many common components and familiar management tools. Its HCI solutions offer common management with the Azure cloud platform and the ability to use Azure cloud services, such as Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup, and Azure Kubernetes Service.
  • Microsoft has a comprehensive edge, core data center, and cloud portfolio that offers common management with the Azure cloud platform and the ability to use Azure cloud services.
  • Microsoft's HCI strength is its breadth of capabilities, with its stable operating systems and platforms, which are used by thousands of partners worldwide.


Cons


  • The main goal of implementing Azure Stack HCI is to enable your organization to migrate workloads to the cloud. However, few customers may be aware of what this means, or how they can do it. In addition, many organizations are unaware of Azure Stack HCI and confuse it with Azure Stack Hub.
  • Azure Stack HCI is not a simple replacement for Azure. While it has most of the same features and functions that you have come to know from Azure, it comes with some significant limitations as well and does not provide identical features or performance as Azure.


4.     StorMagic


StorMagic is another visionary in Gartner's Magic Quadrant featured above. What sets StorMagic apart is the breadth of its product offering and market position, helping it maintain market leadership over other vendors in this space.


StorMagic is a leading provider of enterprise storage software for enterprises with physical and cloud-based deployments. Its products include the SvSAN data center storage system from HPE, the ARQvault video object management system from SoleraTec, and many more technologies for companies of all sizes. StorMagic has recently added the ARQvault digital asset management capability based on its acquisition of the SoleraTec video management company.


Pros


  • StorMagic HCI capabilities are designed specifically to the unique requirements of the edge or distributed data centers — organizations that need an enterprise-level architecture with the flexibility, reliability, and cost-efficiency of a public cloud.
  • With its extensive network experience, StorMagic has become a trusted partner for HPE and other leading companies in the storage industry.
  • StorMagic capabilities are designed specifically to the unique requirements of the edge or distributed data centers—providing acceleration of DevOps activities, reducing risk, and improving access to real-time insights.


Cons


  • I&O leaders often lack familiarity with StorMagic products as the vendor’s marketing and sales resources are significantly less extensive compared to market leaders.

  • StorMagic SvSAN cluster options are limited to two-node clusters; some customers have expressed a need for StorMagic servers with more nodes, larger capacities, and longer-term data retention. Also, some clients would like to see more AI-specific features added to the product.

  • StorMagic is a technology innovator in the hybrid cloud storage market; however, the company's products offered are of limited value for some customers. Some clients wish StorMagic sales and support personnel to be more responsive to their inquiries and provide faster problem resolutions.


5.     Scale Computing


Scale Computing is a niche player in the HCI market, specializing in zero-touch provisioning from edge networks to IoT. The company's HC3 product is primarily focused on the edge and VDI use cases and its operations are primarily focused in the U.S. and EMEA, with some penetration in Asia. Clients tend to be SMBs in retail, industrial, education, local government, and healthcare.

The company's HC3 product is a fully managed solution that provides Tier-1 data center services. Its clients are primarily focused on edge and video surveillance use cases.


Pros


  • Scale Computing offers extremely low-cost solutions that require limited hardware investment for edge locations. It provides resource-efficient, full-stack software, including its own KVM-based hypervisor.
  • The vendor has been highly rated in peer reviews in Gartner Peer Insights and in the area of product capabilities as well as sales, deployment, and support experiences.
  • It also offers strong technology and application expertise in the areas of storage efficiency and security.
  • It offers distributed, resource-efficient data centers using its own KVM-based hypervisor.


Cons


  • Scale Computing has spent the past several years building out a hybrid cloud solution for VMs, but its core-to-edge-to-cloud solution is limited to a single cloud vendor. Scale Computing also uses its own KVM-based hypervisor solution, so existing skills and licenses are not transferable.
  • The company's proprietary KVM-based hypervisor solution is not compatible with other hypervisors, and it needs more brand recognition before it can reach customers that need global brands. The vendor also has limited cloud management capabilities, so only customers with knowledge of multiple public clouds will be interested in its hybrid cloud solution.
  • The vendor discloses limited experience with container-based workloads and it is unclear how Scale Computing’s core-to-edge-to-cloud solution will work within the highly competitive public cloud market.
  • Scale Computing’s brand recognition and open architecture stack are highly sought-after capabilities that, while not required by all customers, could make a buyer stand out. However, the vendor’s limited brand recognition may limit its appeal in an increasingly crowded market.


6.     Quantum (formerly Pivot3)


Quantum (formerly Pivot3) is a niche player in the HCI market. With a strong focus on hybrid cloud, edge, and VDI use cases, Quantum Acuity HCI software is made to facilitate enterprise-grade management of vehicle fleets. The vendor has enhanced its Quantum Acuity HCI software platform with a number of additional capabilities that foster self-healing business processes and optimize the operations of large enterprises.


Quantum has enhanced its HCI platform with several additional capabilities including automated Upgraded Rebuild management and Intelligence Self-Healing features.


Pros


  • Quantum Acuity HCI is a computer vision software that automates security and surveillance applications running on a global network of public devices.
  • It is purpose-built for the unique and mission-critical requirements associated with profiling, verification of authenticity, and identification of faces in large-scale public spaces such as airports and university campuses.
  • The flexibility, ease of use, and reliability have made Quantum Acuity HCI popular among government leaders and commercial entities alike.


Cons


  • Quantum is not yet recognized globally as an HCI software provider; therefore, for customers seeking only HCI software with the highest global brand recognition, it may not be the most trustworthy solution. Customers who are seeking only the best HCI software with the highest global brand recognition should carefully compare Quantum Acuity with other vendors.
  • Unlike its competitors, Quantum did not retain any key executives when it purchased Pivot3. The future direction of Quantum Acuity HCI should be monitored closely given that the company did not successfully integrate its acquired product line into its existing offerings.
  • The main benefit of Pivot3 is that it offers a product that is easy to use, requires little ongoing maintenance, and has rigorous training. Acuity HCI, however, will be more complex to use and require more staff time to train users on new functions that may have been built into the product.


7.     Sangfor Technologies


Sangfor Technologies is a niche player in the HCI market. Sangfor's HCI software solution is designed for cloud transformation, VDI and backup, and DR. The vendor has a long-established security business with a presence in EMEA and APAC. Sangfor HCI integrates security functions, which is attractive to SMBs.


The vendor’s operations are still focused around China (where more than 80% of Sangfor HCI sales occur). Clients tend to be midsize to large enterprises in the core verticals of manufacturing, government, healthcare, and education. Since the previous year, the company has particularly been focused on enabling end-to-end continued security for Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) as well as x86 platforms for private and managed public cloud infrastructure expanding to edge cloud realms.


Pros


  • Sangfor offers a cost-competitive, secure and manageable alternative to centralized cloud services. With its own hypervisor Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) Sangfor’s HCI solution provides independent software vendors (ISVs) with a competitively priced option for midmarket IT organizations to run workloads on either vSphere, Microsoft Azure, or NVVX on-premise.
  • Based in China, Sangfor Technologies provides highly secure and cost-competitive hypervisor Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) services. By leveraging its established relationships in the market, Sangfor has developed a vertical approach that benefits partners and clients around the globe.
  • They meet client needs with a supply and support partner that empowers global expansion while meeting local regulations.


Cons


  • Sangfor has limited stack integration with ecosystem partners outside of China. The vendor has been successful in the HCI market in China but has not proven its offerings in the rest of the Asia/Pacific region and EMEA.


  • Sangfor Technologies is a vendor in the HCI market for 2022 that has a local presence in China and limited international sales channels. Local support resources may not be sufficient to ensure continued operation outside of China, or may not be available across the rest of Asia/Pacific or EMEA. Sangfor has been unable to support edge usage in its offerings, making it less attractive for edge application deployments.


8.     StarWind


StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) is a niche player, primarily focused on reducing node count for hybrid cloud and edge use cases and distributed data centers. StarWind is a global provider of server virtualization and cloud management solutions, with operations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.


They specialize in the rapid deployment of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems because of our real-time hypervisor enhancement for multiple container deployments. Recently, the vendor has modernized its codebase for increased performance, and dedupe and compression with integration to ZFS.


Pros


  • StarWind’s full-featured product can address most use-case scenarios and has strong overall customer satisfaction.
  • With its high-performance architecture, innovative storage and hardware, and full-featured product set, it really is a force to reckon with in the HCI market for 2022.
  • Its strong storage and HCI expertise make it an attractive option for SMBs, especially for edge and cloud. It has introduced innovation in the hardware and software layers, which makes it an attractive price/performance option.


Cons


  • StarWind is one of the smallest vendors in this research in terms of revenue and geographic coverage, which limits its ability to gain traction in the global enterprise market.
  • StarWind solutions are based on the market demand and requirements. The vendor primarily focuses on standalone HCI deployments with an SSA configuration. StarWind offers a comprehensive Monitoring suite, virtual desktop integration, and integrated management console. However, the vendor does not offer "pre-integrated” HCI bundling by major server OEMs, which means customers have to purchase individual servers for each application or virtual machine.


9.     Huayun Data Group


Huayun Data Group is a niche player with a growing HCI software solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the banking/securities, education, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors.

Their market focus is centered on hybrid cloud, edge, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) use cases. Their ArIQ provides automated operational monitoring service and analytics. The vendor's operations are mainly confined to China.


Huayun Data Group has extended its HCI solutions to include a solution for backup to its cloud, a VDI solution with multiple graphics processing unit (GPU) modes, automated operational monitoring, and the Archer CloudManager cloud management platform.


Pros


  • The group’s HCI offerings include DBaaS, backup to the cloud, VDI solution with GPU options, and ArIQ for automated operational monitoring. Huayun's licenses are perpetual, requiring no additional payments for license renewal.

  • The company is a leader in the HCI market for its offerings of managed cloud services and risk management executions.

  • Huayun has extended its market presence by collaborating with organizations to offer backup solutions, a VDI solution with multiple graphics processing unit (GPU) modes, and automated operational monitoring solutions.

  • The group offers solutions for vSphere, Kubernetes, and bare metal. Huayun's backup software extends to its cloud offering as well.


Cons


  • Huayun Data Group currently has a limited installed base outside of China, which results in support capabilities that vary by geography. Things are further complicated by the existence of both the Archer OS and Maxta HCI brands for different countries. Finally, the vendor has a limited channel and sales partnerships outside of China.
  • Huayun Data Group’s use of both the Archer OS and Maxta HCI brands for different countries may be confusing for IT leaders seeking a common solution across multiple geographies.

Why Should We Care?

According to researchandmarkets.com, the HCI market is expected to reach an estimated $38.58 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 27.50% for the forecast period of 2022-2027.


It is apparent HCI market is flourishing and increasingly becoming a preferred choice for I&O leaders. HCI has gained some serious momentum over the last few years and will continue to do so in the future due to its immense benefits. The reason is simple: modernization and digitalization mean that traditional storage, server, and networking solutions are no longer delivering the same benefits as they once did. As a result, businesses are switching to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), which is changing the modern data center and tech updates.


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While HCI adoption is growing rapidly, its potential applications in the tech ecosystem are far-reaching. It will enable businesses to integrate mainstream technologies into a cloud-enabled infrastructure that leverages heterogeneous networking and storage technologies to create a virtualized environment.


Top players in the HCI landscape are rapidly changing the modern data center and technology updates. Businesses are abandoning traditional storage, server, and networking solutions in favor of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) which is changing the modern data center and technology updates. Due to high growth in both raw compute power and storage capacity over years, there has been a need for greater efficiency at each layer of that stack; this has required a shift toward increased simplicity on the applications layer while enhancing the ability to manage their entire infrastructure through easy-to-use tools.


The top HCI market players also have achieved remarkable growth rates in the last few years, despite the global economic slowdown. The rapid growth rate of the industry has been fueled by various factors. These include increasing demand for hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions as a viable alternative to public cloud computing, which is expected to significantly contribute to the growth of the global HCI market in 2022.


The market size is growing rapidly and will be driven by the demand for cloud-managed infrastructure; growing adoption of virtualization and network automation technologies, etc.


The global hyper-converged infrastructure market is concentrated in the cloud datacenter, where the share of private cloud has gradually increased in the past several years. Hosting is a new type of cloud service where customers are responsible for operating costs, but can plan and manage their own service from its hardware to software on demand.


Apart from those mentioned in detail in the blog, the other top players in the HCI market include IBM, Dell Technologies (EMC), HPE, Big Data Global ACQUISITION LLC (BDG), Cisco Systems Inc., and Fujitsu Ltd.

Wrap Up

The global market for hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. As a result, several vendors have introduced new products to meet the customers’ requirements. This blog examines the top HCI market players, identify key trends in the market, and investigates their impact on the industry’s growth now and in near future. The top HCI market players are well aware of the ever-increasing competition and dynamic changes within their landscape and are working to make their services as beneficial and disruptive as possible.


Also, the rapid evolution of the HCI market is leading to a considerable inflow of investments. There are several factors further driving this market including the growing demand for high-end devices, the proliferation of digital transformation, the growth of digital lifestyle, and a growing number of connected users. Vendors are competing to deliver the best products and technologies as well as address new customer needs. As such, it is important that you understand the major players and how their technologies provide value to customers in order to better position yourself and your company for success. As these technologies are expected to gain traction in the next five years, it is vital for customers to apprehend and keep a hawk's-eye view of the activities of the top HCI market players in 2022.




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