What is happening in hyperconvergence? HPE has just bought SimpliVity, Nutanix shares are down 24% after its IPO, Dell-EMC is busy with its restructuring and sorting its channels, privately-held Scale Computing remains independent and claims to be doing well, so we discussed business with Jeff Ready, its Founder and CEO.
“The HPE/SimpliVity deal really just legitimises the hyperconverged market. On its own, we used to beat HPE all the time. The reason for the deal is clear – HPE needs to offer an integrated stack, but ironically, it still won't have ownership as it needs to use VMware,” he says. “It is not clear how it will pan out. Scale does not use VMware, so can provide the solution for less than Dell can, and the margins for partners are better in any case.” he says.
Cisco is in the same position using the hypervisor, and of course Dell-EMC still owns VMware. “We find customers prefer the straightforward hyperconvergence in the data centre.”
Scale Computing has added a lot of partners in Europe in the last 18 months, with sales accelerating, he says. Three years ago, the channel was still selling traditional storage and servers; now hyperconvergence is seen as a core solution. And the channel is the main recommending factor in solution selection.
HPE had been coming to the market from its strengths in storage; now perhaps the race will be to accelerate R&D, and the specialist vendors have perhaps more advantage, if not the huge weight of resources. And the prospect of low cost solid state storage in the next year or so could also shake up the market. So there is a lot for the channel to think about, even as it continues to be “much more important” than previously in the decisions and reach of hyperconvergence.