Last year at VMworld hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) was the newest industry buzzword that everyone was trying to learn about. Things have changed quickly and now HCI has become a one of the most rapidly adopted new IT technologies. At this year’s VMworld 2015 in San Francisco I met with Mornay Van Der Walt, vice president, EVO:RAIL Group, VMware. Mornay explained to me the reason that HCI is gaining traction in the industry so rapidly is because it provides predictable behavior, prices and that HCI is simpler to implement than converged or traditional infrastructure solutions. In addition, because HCI solutions like EVO Rail tend to be less expensive than converged solutions it’s easier for customers to make purchasing decisions. There is often a different approval chain than the one required for larger more expensive converged solutions where customers would be buying a combination of servers and storage arrays.
Mornay shared the results of a recent IDC study that predicted that by 2019 HCI would grow to a 3.9 billion dollar business. He also pointed out that 92-95% of today’s HCI solutions are running vSphere and that the combination of vSphere and Virtual SAN that’s provided by EVO Rail has advantages over other HCI solutions. This is because Virtual SAN is integrated at the vSphere kernel level which provide tighter integration and more performance than a storage solution that’s implemented at the VM level. We finished up by talking about how one of VMware’s goals with EVO Rail is to provide customers freedom of choice and that EVO Rail is offered through a number of suppliers including DELL, EMC, Fujitsu and Super Micro.