Hyperconverged Infrastructure Trends to Watch in 2020
Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) continues to gain popularity in the data center market. Organizations that want to trim down their overhead costs such as power, space, and cooling are moving to HCI platforms. Other companies are looking to consolidate their traditional infrastructure to improve scale capabilities. Whatever the reason, the benefits HCI brings over traditional infrastructure has made the decision to switch much easier.
As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020, what are the data center trends that will demand attention? When it comes to HCI, there are many that could impact your operations. Let’s take a look.
Software is King!
Software-defined everything will become the de facto method of designing a data center deployment. Whether for an on-premises or cloud deployment, putting in place a fully software-defined data center (SDDC) will enable your organization to leverage the power of HCI.
There are big name vendors leading the charge with industry-standard software packages for compute, storage, and network virtualization. While the industry leaders in SDDC continue to fine-tune their software and release new versions in 2020, close competitors will vie for market share with their new and/or improved SDDC offerings.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Capabilities Grow
HCI vendors have drastically improved their offerings by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Administrators will be much more comfortable with the use of AI to automate mundane daily functions.
Furthermore, AI will remove the possibility of human error when it comes to gathering and analyzing large data sets. The year 2020 will see a vast improvement and adoption of AI to optimize data center workloads and reduce complexity in managing large amounts of data.
AI and ML will also help with increasing efficiency in the monitoring and managing of decentralized systems. Systems spread around the globe at various cloud provider data centers will benefit from the ability of AI to manage risk, make upgrades, and install security patches—all while limiting the amount of downtime.
Virtualization software built into many HCI systems already has the capability to manage application workload and move VMs around based on host health and system maintenance. AI/ML will continue to improve and offer the highest level of data center efficiency while at the same time reducing complexity.
Hardware and Software Vendors Unite
In 2020, the technology world will see hardware and software vendors work together to improve the benefits and capabilities of HCI. That’s a good thing, because virtualization vendors tend to focus on improving their software offerings, while hardware vendors work to improve their hardware offerings.
This disjointed and siloed approach to building data center technology will not survive much beyond 2020, as it puts companies at too great a competitive disadvantage. The adoption of virtualization and software-defined services has become widely accepted as the best way to build and manage your data center.
A related trend will see leading hardware manufacturers focusing more on how they can build their hardware to be more compliant with SDDC vendors. In the same vein, SDDC vendors will team with hardware vendors to create a symbiotic partnership—one that will provide the best solution to their customers.
New Players Join the HCI Game
Although there are a number of good HCI vendors out there, 2020 will bring a slew of new and/or improved vendors to the market. Some software vendors who have focused on specific aspects of hardware abstraction will bring an HCI solution to market. Other vendors who initially brought an HCI solution to market but didn’t gain much market share will reintroduce their newly-revamped solution to market to compete with the leaders.
A specially intriguing trend in 2020 will be the entrance of cloud hosting companies into the HCI market. There are several cloud hosting companies that have recently begun to offer a proprietary HCI solution to their customers, trying to gain some share of the on-premises market. While this is a trend that will start to gain visibility in 2020, it will not fully mature for at least another 3-4 years.
Although some may contend that companies should stick to what they know, it will mean more options when deciding on an HCI solution. Competition is good for the consumer.
A Rosy Future
These trends are likely to continue for the near-term. In the longer view, it’s clear that HCI will become more and more essential in the data center, pushing out less efficient and outdated technologies.
HCI is maturing rapidly, and as that happens, more organizations will turn to it. That in turn will lead to greater growth of the market, new technologies being developed for it, and a broader ecosystem that provides more options for buyers. While there are positive and negative trends in every industry, HCI shows all the signs of becoming stronger and more vibrant.