Anshuman Rai, Director Sales, Converged Platform & Solutions Division, Dell EMC, spoke with Amit Singh to elaborate on how Dell EMC’s HCIS solutions differentiate with the competition
Please elaborate on the converged systems market space in India?
Converged systems market in India is growing pretty well and lots of action is happening in terms of pipeline and queries. In the converged systems portfolio, hyper converged infrastructure systems (HCIS) are attracting the largest amount of interest with its software-defined approach which abstracts the compute, storage and networking on a single plane.
The reason for the traction is the promise of simplicity that HCIS brings in. In a traditional approach the customers goes into three separate purchase cycles for compute, storage and networking, which is never less than 10-15 days. However, HCIS comes pre-integrated and pre-tested which allows to go-to-market in just a day. Hence, there is large cut in the procurement and the deployment cycle, and on top of it there is a terrific improvement on the overall support experience. With Dell EMC solutions, the entire management of the HCIS is our responsibility from hypervisor to storage and compute, as we offer best-of-the-breed solutions from our group of companies including VMware, EMC and Dell.
What are the spaces where HCIS is gaining acceptance?
HCIS is rapidly becoming the new normal for modern datacenters. Currently, lot of organizations are undergoing datacenter modernization with emphasis on scale-out architecture with all-flash storage, latest generation compute and an element of cloud. All these feature are typically offered by HCIS with best price-performance on flash, high scalability from as low as 3 nodes to as large as 64 nodes, and its completely software-defined.
In fact, all-flash storage is now making commercial sense for the customers with lowering cost per GB. And if you consume it with the HCIS, it will be one of the lowest. Hence customers are excited towards HCIS as it enables them to begin their all-flash story. We have supplemented our HCIS with lots of features like data protection, disaster recovery and backup solutions. Hence it’s really a hyper converged package and that’s what customers require.
Cloud is another space where customers are excited about HCIS. They understand that besides a part of their IT on public cloud there is certain set of infrastructure needed on premise. That’s promoting the necessity of having a hybrid cloud. Customers looking at on-premise private cloud are the driver for HCIS.
Further, we have seen few major attempts from large BFSI customers on VDI but the story has been not so great on WAN. However on LAN it’s still a nice proposition. Now, we are seeing many large VDI implementations coming with HCIS as the backbone.
Hence, HCIS story in India is on the brighter side. As per Gartner, almost 30 percent of the mid-range storage worldwide will move to HCIS by 2019. I believe that India will play a greater role in this.
What are the workloads being transferred to converged systems and HCIS solutions?
Wherever the scale is big and the customer is looking for tried and tested solution, it opts for traditional converged infrastructure like VBlock. Hence, integrated infrastructure systems are witnessing high growth due to sheer size of the solutions and high acceptance among wide range of customers. However, integrated stack system is a lower growth area due to limited application areas.
On the other hand, HCIS has received higher adoption in the recent years due to its application in any virtualized environment. We have customers who have deployed VDI solutions, data warehousing applications, engineering design applications, simulation applications, or security operations center on HCIS. The primary reason for a seamless transition to our HCIS is that all the stacks including hypervisor, SDS or SDN are pre-integrated from VMware. So anything which runs on traditional VM environment will seamlessly run on HCIS.
While HCIS is being marginally preferred for perimeter non-core workloads, it is also being used extensively where organizations have high scale-out requirements. With scalability and simplicity as the key parameters for customers in India, HCI appliances are a perfect fit for businesses looking to move from a “build yourself” to a “buy” model.
What are the business benefits offered by HCIS?
With HCIS, customers can benefit with at least 30 percent lower TCO over a period of 3-5 years as compared to traditional systems. Cost savings start right from deployment in terms of significantly less time-to-market with a large setup up and running in just a day. Moreover you save on space and power with lesser number of systems running.
Further, large saving happens on human resources. In a traditional setup, the customer would require skills around compute, hypervisor, storage and networking to run the show. However in the HCIS environment, the administrator who is managing the hypervisor will be able to manage the whole system. That way, customers can save large spending on skilled resources. For mid-sized organizations with small IT team, HCIS is a boon.
In addition, there are savings on downtime as there is lesser number of individual systems running. Hence the availability of the system is also higher.
Dell EMC recently expanded its HCIS portfolio with VxRail appliances integrated with PowerEdge servers. How does your solution differentiate with the competition?
VxRail is the first jointly engineered system by Dell and VMware as we merged as a single entity as Dell EMC. It offers the industry’s only HCI appliances powered by VMware vSAN. The primary benefit that our VxRail solutions offer is flexibility in terms of CPU, storage or drive options. We have also got a bit of cost benefits as the whole solution including the platform comes from our group of companies.
These VxRail Appliances feature 40 percent more CPU performance for the same price, increased flexibility and scalability with more configurations, all-flash nodes equipped with double the storage capacity and a new 3-node entry point that is more than 25 percent less expensive.
In comparison to the HCIS solutions from the competition, our solution is completely software-defined with lowest over-heads. We can clearly claim that whatever infrastructure a customer purchases, it gets the highest value for money with VxRail for a simple reason that we consume the lowest amount of overheads to run the SDS or any other layer.
Further, solutions from various vendors have scalability issues; however, our solution is scalable up to 64 nodes. On top of it, we differentiate ourselves from the competition in packaging our solutions. Our solutions come with data protection, disaster recovery and data backup solutions in-built with lowest bandwidth utilization.
Since the global launch in March 2016, Dell EMC has sold more than 14,000 VxRail nodes—exceeding 145 petabytes of storage and 150,000 cores—to more than 2,000 customers in dozens of industries across 97 countries.