Converged Graffiti

There’s a very wicked ’55 Chevy lookin’ for you

I was nostalgic when I read the story about VxBlock hitting 10.  I had been working in Converged computing going back some time, and helped grow the FlexPod business.  So to acknowledge this passage of time also recognizes just how old this space is, esp. in technology terms (i.e. ‘Internet dog years’).  This product started as an entire freestanding business – the Acadia then VCE joint venture back in 2009. The article cites how EMC once had a full line of Vblocks – which evolved into VxRack, VxRail and VxFlex among other offerings – but today this whole business and converged product line has since been trimmed to one single model, the VxBlock 1000, because as they say themselves, “they’re outdated”.

File that under C.S.

The Converged market is in the throes of a metamorphic change. What was once the big story, popular Certified Reference and Integrated systems like VxBlock and FlexPod revolutionizing the datacenter, are now shrinking and in decline, about a third of the market and dropping over 6% annually.  The overall space is still growing, but the data shows that it’s all due to Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).

flexpod cake
FlexPod birthday cake

Then why celebrate? The same reason why we celebrated in the FlexPod team. It’s still an important milestone – it marks the passage of time, the accomplishment of another year of business, it’s certainly about the comradery of those in the business ecosystem, and an appreciation that this offering continues to pay the bills for those workers at Dell/EMC.

But is it a time to celebrate for IT customers?

If brains were dynamite you couldn’t blow your nose

Like the ending of American Graffiti, with the main character staring out the window thinking about what might have been, the folks at Dell must have been thinking longingly about the good ‘ol days as they cut into their VxBlock birthday cake. The Converged market for them is a slow glide, riding out the themes of a bygone era of IT. Their website promotes “turnkey converged”, “power” and “mission critical” like it’s a 60’s muscle car.  But we’re now solidly within the jet age of Hyperconverged, software-defined infrastructure and cloud-based computing.

I love it when guys peel out

HCI is the new hot rod in town. It’s overtaking all things converged, integrated and “Stack/Block”.  HCI is the fastest growing segment in that infrastructure space, and has surpassed the legacy reference architecture and converged segments.  It’s currently on a 57% annual ascent and now accounts for almost half of an over $16B market.  The customer has spoken: convenience of the more compact form-factor with both storage and compute combined is preferred over the proclaimed benefits of separate “best in class” components or the ability to scale storage resources separately from compute.

For info on an ideal x86 platform for software-defined HCI look no further than the HPE Apollo 4200.  It’s built for demanding, data-centric workloads, and currently hosts Windows-based HCI and vSAN environments.  Continue to watch this space for more news on new offerings in the area coming from Microsoft and HPE.

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