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HCIS will Replace 3-Tier Architecture in near Future

Santosh Rao, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner, details on how hyper converged systems are taking over the traditional 3-tier architecture systems

Santosh Rao, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner

What are the customer sentiments on converged infrastructure market?

Gartner’s interactions with end-user organizations in India reflect a strong willingness to consider alternate delivery models for infrastructure requirements. Users are keen to understand newer technologies such as integrated systems and hyper converged infrastructures as well as cloud-based architectures.

A further analysis of Gartner’s entire client interactions indicate that an average of 20 percent of organizations augmenting storage capacities in India are actively considering integrated systems. The impact on revenue from the base of customers is expected to be high, as many of these organizations fit Gartner’s definition of large organizations with significant spend on storage every year.

Integrated systems are being used in verticals like BFSI to consolidate core business applications on this platform. It is used by cloud hosting providers to deliver infrastructure services. Hyper converged platforms, while relatively new, have gained significant mindshare over the last year.

While hyper converged infrastructure systems (HCIS) are being considered for VDI, web applications, research and development and remote office/branch office, it is expected to replace traditional 3-tier architectures to support business critical applications in near future.

Please elaborate on the benefits of integrated systems? How does HCIS score over traditional converged systems?

Integrated systems significantly reduce time taken to design and deploy a solution. This is because integrated systems are pre-validated for specific solutions like private cloud, virtual infrastructure, ERP, Email and for specific deployment size. In case of traditional integrated systems, the degree to which the solution is automated determines the operational costs. The more automated the workflows for provisioning, change management and decommissioning are, the lesser the operational costs of the solution.

On the other hand, hyper converged platforms are simpler to deploy and easy to operate in comparison to traditional integrated systems. This is because the compute and storage is on a single platform and can be scaled-up when required. Compute and storage provisioning is VM-centric and hence more user-friendly.

What are the challenges you see in the integrated systems market?

There are very few integrated systems vendors that provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution stack without partnerships. In such cases, there may be a possibility that the final solution deployed may not be the best in class. However, most of the integrated systems solutions today are partnership-based.

In case of traditional integrated systems, the final solution is usually a result of compute, storage, network and virtualization vendors partnering with each other and jointly going to market with the integrated systems stack. The challenge is that most of these alliances are temporary and opportunistic in nature. Vendors tend to terminate alliances without reason or favor alternate partnerships that suit their needs than the customers. This ultimately leads to lower customer satisfaction. The same is the case with hyper converged vendors. Most hyper converged vendors are software-only and rely on hardware partnerships to jointly go to market.

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