Market Momentum: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Soars

Yanbing Li, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager for storage and availability, took VMworld’s main stage today and wowed the assembled crowd with her enthusiastic endorsement of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and vSAN.

VMware’s HCI business is growing rapidly due to high demand, Li said. From June 2014 to June 2016, the vSAN customer base grew by a factor of 10—from 500 to 5,000 customers—and is now deployed by 40 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies and across all major industries.

Businesses of all types are showing increasing trust in the solution, too, with more than 60 percent running business-critical applications on vSAN. Li noted that 20 of the 25 largest finance companies—an industry known for requiring high performance, high availability, and low risk—have now deployed HCI powered by vSAN.

Businesses Across Industries Embrace HCI

Li highlighted multiple customer examples illustrating the flexibility of VMware’s solutions.

CH2M is a Fortune 500 company that works in more than 50 countries to tackle infrastructure and natural resource problems. Their IT infrastructure is spread across 400 sites globally, and as their IT demands grew, they faced classic challenges regarding tight budgets, growing complexity, and increasing application performance needs. After extensive testing, the company turned to HCI powered by vSAN, and now has numerous data centers where 100 percent of shared storage needs are provided by vSAN. Additionally, because CH2M had built their infrastructure using HPE Ready Nodes, the company was able to deploy an HCI solution on existing infrastructure.

CH2M Infographic

“The ability to choose and control their infrastructure was critical,” noted Li, “and we see that often with large enterprises.”

Dimension Data, a global cloud provider and partner to several major international professional cycling events, needed to create a mobile data center to track, capture, and store vast amounts of race data that could be analyzed in real time. The company chose VCE VxRail, a turnkey appliance jointly-engineered with EMC, which not only met mobility and operational needs, but also reduced set-up and shut-down time by an hour each day.

France’s OVH is the leading hosting provider in Europe, serving nearly one million customers with 17 data centers across Europe, Africa, and North America. A member of the VMware vCloud Air Network (vCAN) partner ecosystem, OVH needed to build a dedicated private cloud service on existing server architecture, and the company decided on HCI powered by vSAN as its foundation. Not only did it allow for more hardware choices, but with vSAN the company achieved four-to-five times better performance, 87 percent faster deployment time, and the flexibility to rapidly scale up or down to reliably meet the dynamic storage needs of its customers.

Amway needed to refresh its data centers and wanted a solution that would increase operational efficiencies and deliver cost savings. By choosing VMware’s HCI, the company combined compute, storage, and unified management onto industry-standard x86 servers, eliminating traditional silos. The reduced footprint meant huge capital expenditure savings, and freed up IT staff time that was reinvested in other strategic projects.

“What Amway is doing with HCI in its private cloud and virtual desktop environment is a great example of why Virtual SAN and vSphere provide the best software stack for HCI,” Li said.

The Future of Cross-Cloud: Data Management

“As you can see by these customer examples,” Li concluded, “Virtual SAN supports a wide variety of uses and is available across a number of deployment options.” She then demonstrated a technology preview of functionality that will further enable workload mobility between private and public clouds, such as IBM’s Softlayer, in a presentation that drew an appreciative response from the crowd.

“The future of Cross-Cloud is not about data persistence; it is about data management,” Li said to the VMworld audience. “We have to be ready for the Cross-Cloud era, where your private cloud environments are connected to your choice of public cloud environments, from SoftLayer to AWS to vCloud Air.”