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Key findings from TBR’s 2H18 Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research

  • TBR forecasts the HCI market will reach $15 billion by 2023, representing a significant growth opportunity for data center vendors.
  • Survey incidence data indicate that the majority of potential customers have not yet begun their hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) journey.
  • Emerging solutions, such as Lenovo’s TruScale Infrastructure Services and AWS Outposts have the potential to shake up the HCI market.

Opportunity for successful HCI vendors is great, as the market will rapidly expand through 2023

The HCI market evolves to meet customers’ changing demands. As customers embrace digital transformation, the opportunity in HCI increases, and vendors invest and adapt to become agents of change for customers. TBR estimates the HCI market will increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $15 billion by 2023 as customers leverage HCI for a wide array of needs, both traditional and emerging.

A majority of potential customers have not yet purchased HCI, creating opportunities for all HCI vendors to gain customers. Incidence data from TBR’s research show that only 27% of companies surveyed purchased HCI. This demonstrates the massive opportunity that remains for vendors to gain net-new customers in the space. Converged infrastructure (CI) leaders Dell EMC and Cisco have a distinct advantage over other HCI peers, as their CI legacies have afforded them incumbent status with existing CI customers. Despite the incumbent advantage, there is opportunity for any vendor to capitalize on emerging buyer preferences. For example, software is an increasingly central piece of the HCI story, and with 79% of respondents indicating that they would consider consumption-based HCI purchases, strategic marketing and investments can enable any HCI vendor to rise through the ranks.

While Lenovo is not a leading vendor at this time, 30% of respondents indicated they considered Lenovo for their HCI purchase. Lenovo’s restructured portfolio, its recent unveiling of TruScale Infrastructure Services, and the rapid positive changes in its overall data center business are likely to bolster gains for the vendor in HCI as well. Although Dell EMC’s and Cisco’s leadership in the HCI space has been established, the opportunity in HCI remains vast, even for fast followers in the space. Digital transformation only stands to reinforce this trend as HCI becomes more widely adopted.

Customers leverage HCI for private and hybrid cloud installments as security remains a top concern with public cloud adoption

It is clear the private and hybrid cloud value proposition is a benefit HCI buyers are looking to achieve, with 80% of respondents indicating they leverage HCI for private or hybrid cloud installments. A majority of customers (60%) leverage their HCI for database management, and many of these customers indicated their database management use was for mission-critical purposes. This underscores the need to protect critical and sensitive data. TBR’s research showed that buyers are making additional investments in security in conjunction with HCI, particularly network security.

Graph depicting 2H18 security software purchased with hyperconverged

Going forward, the emergence of AWS Outposts in the market will challenge current HCI deployment trends as Amazon Web Services (AWS) messages its Outposts offering as being able to seamlessly integrate with AWS public cloud, addressing a key driver behind HCI adoption for private cloud installments. AWS Outposts are expected to hit the market in 2H19, so it will take some time before the impact of Outposts is known. However, that AWS is making its Outposts offering available as a managed service will improve ease of use, and will likely increase demand, especially among existing AWS customers as the underlying hardware of Outposts will resemble that of AWS’ public cloud environment.

IT budgets are shifting in HCI’s favor

Infographic discussing TBR's hyperconverged infrastructure research for 2H18

Key findings from TBR’s hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) customer survey

87% of respondents indicated that they were likely to make their next HCI purchase from their current HCI vendor.

80% of respondents are leveraging HCI for a cloud installment.

68% of respondents cited their desire to purchase hyperconverged directly from teh vendor rather than through channel partners or systems integrators — an increase from 59% in 1H18.

66% of respondents indicated software quality and reliability and 63% indicated hardware quality and reliability were important factors in their HCI purchasing decision.

 

For more information, contact Data Center Analyst Stephanie Long at [email protected].

Snapshot: TBR’s 1H18 Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Reserach

Enterprises are seeking the agility and flexibility afforded by cloud environments and are increasingly considering opex-based consumption models for their on-premises private cloud environments. Insights from TBR’s recently published 1H18 Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research report further detail these trends and the impact they will likely have on the data center infrastructure market and digital transformation.

For more information on Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research, contact Engagement Manger and Senior Analyst Angela Lambert ([email protected]).

Key findings from TBR’s upcoming HCI customer research

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a growing market ripe with opportunity for vendors. TBR forecasts the market will reach $11.7 billion by 2022. Although TBR research indicates that incumbent vendors with a strong presence in the converged infrastructure (CI) market, such as Dell EMC and Cisco, have an advantage in the space, findings also indicate that a growing number of smaller vendors are rising in popularity. Add to that the approximately one-quarter of existing customers who indicated that brand is not a key factor in their decision making, and it becomes clear that the opportunity to take share from existing vendors is high. Further, with nearly three-quarters of respondents indicating they have not yet taken the plunge into the HCI space, there is massive opportunity, through strategic marketing and support, for vendors to encourage new adopters to be their customers.

HCI has a significant place in the cloud market

Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated they are leveraging HCI for either hybrid or private cloud installations. TBR believes this suggests that cloud is not necessarily an inhibitor to HCI adoption, as some vendors may perceive. Further, we believe this signals that consumption-based pricing options, which 81% of respondents indicated they would be interested in considering in the future, will encourage more HCI adoption. Consumption-based pricing enables customers to select HCI for a capex solution as well as for public cloud if they choose, and they can simply compare performance and other features between the two to make purchasing decisions. Vendors can capitalize on this flexibility with strategic marketing.

IT leaders play a crucial role in the HCI decision-making process

HCI remains a strategic purchase, as evidenced by the fact that 74% of respondents indicated IT directors and managers were one of the decision makers. TBR believes that as customers become more familiar with HCI and their HCI vendor, they will be more likely to make repeat purchases and will be less likely to demand direct-from-vendor sales.

To learn more about TBR’s Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research, contact Stanley Stevens ([email protected]) or your account executive.