Traditional enterprise IT equipment vendors dominate the sales of converged systems, although the numbers are murky in the HCI segment due to numerous OEM relationships. IDC defines the converged systems business as “pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software” and divides the broader market into four segments: integrated infrastructure, certified reference systems, integrated platforms, and hyperconverged systems.
The key difference between infrastructure and platforms is the latter’s addition of packaged software and/or customized system engineering for things like databases, HPC or application development. Like us, IDC differentiates HCI as comprised of modular, scale out systems that combine virtualized compute and storage one a single x86 node. In this report, we are focused on primarily infrastructure, not platforms.
IDC’s numbers show the converged market as dominated by two players, Dell EMC collecting almost half of the revenue with the Cisco-NetApp partnership raking in nearly 30%. However, the numbers are deceiving since Dell EMC sales are an amalgam of large converged boxes like the VxBlock and VxRack inherited from EMC, the hyperconverged VxRail from EMC and VMware and Dell’s XC. However, within the HCI segment, Nutanix points out that the XC appliances are a combination of Dell PowerEdge hardware with Nutanix software. Nutanix makes a good argument that it is the HCI market leader if it gets credit for all the systems from Dell and others using its Acropolis HCI software stack.
Additional Vendors Shaping the Converged (CI) and Hyperconverged (HCI) Market Resources