Hit refresh with HCI: building the digital foundation for hybrid cloud with vSAN 6.7

Adoption of VMware’s HCI solution accelerates: well over 10,000 organisations choose vSAN to power their IT infrastructure

By Nick Cross, Director of HCI, EMEA

Hyper-converged infrastructure has become an extremely popular alternative to traditional legacy external storage and it’s easy to see why. Organisations want more flexible, open, cloud-ready environments. They want to modernise infrastructure without risk, while reducing the cost of ownership. IT leaders see HCI as a way to solve many challenges: from meeting increasingly diverse business demands in the face of dwindling budgets to managing sprawling resources that include expensive, complicated and inflexible legacy infrastructure in a hybrid cloud world. To make this happen and to adopt a truly agile hybrid cloud strategy, organisations need to plan a seamless path towards the full software-defined data center (SDDC) and ensure connection to a strong public cloud ecosystem.

This is where HCI powered by VMware vSAN comes in. As the HCI market continues to evolve and accelerate, only VMware offers an integrated HCI stack that delivers that all-important route to the SDDC and greater IT agility; the essential digital foundation for the hybrid cloud.

Leadership: in private, public and hybrid

You must get two main elements right in your journey to a hybrid cloud. First, a strong private (on-prem) cloud adoption and ecosystem. Second, you need a broad public cloud ecosystem that offers HCI-as-a-service. vSAN already has the HCI industry’s largest hybrid cloud ecosystem, with more than 10,000 private clouds running on over 500 Ready Nodes from 15 distinct server OEM partners, delivering hardware form factors from rugged edge systems to composable infrastructure, and can manage HCI-as-a-Service from AWS and IBM, two of the top four cloud providers.

At the same time, a strong public cloud ecosystem is essential when you’re planning the most effective digital foundation, with the ability to bring your enterprise continuous flexibility, agility and choice. More than 250 public cloud providers already depend on vSAN to power their products and services, including flagship offerings from the US telecoms and data services provider CenturyLink, Inc. “CenturyLink has multiple cloud products providing world-class solutions to our customers built on the power of VMware VSAN, a fundamental piece of the complete SDDC,” explains Steven Nolen, CenturyLink’s Senior Lead Product Manager – Private Cloud. “vSAN has scaled flawlessly to over 11 petabytes of production data on high-performance all-flash devices that provide a consistent application experience for the most demanding workloads, from business-critical applications to cloud-native applications. The rapid innovation in vSAN will further help us deliver a robust platform with enterprise-class resiliency and intelligent, self-healing capabilities to enable our customers to rely on a high-performance hyper-converged infrastructure.”

Delivering a new HCI Experience

Given this genuine innovation, it is perhaps not surprising that VMware emerged this year as a clear leader in Gartner, Inc’s inaugural Magic Quadrant for HCI; the first software-only vendor in the leader quadrant in an area where software has become the differentiating factor. This success is based in no small part on vSAN’s innovation leadership: that unique ability to provide a digital foundation, or ubiquitous control plane from edge to core to cloud, coupled with the HCI industry’s largest hybrid cloud ecosystem.

At the same time, IDC data (Q4 2017) has confirmed that vSAN is the largest HCI vendor by revenue, well outpacing its nearest competitors, with a 32.4% market share, and by overall market growth with 111% year-over-year growth. vSAN resonates with our customer because it delivers precisely what it promises, with a credible roadmap for continued future growth and innovation.

Enterprises are choosing VMware HCI powered by vSAN, in ever-increasing numbers to deliver an approach that is agile, scalable and cost-efficient to support rapid business growth. And the story continues: this week sees the launch of our seventh generation vSAN version 6.7. For this latest version, we gathered valuable feedback from many customers, with the lessons that we learned telling us the areas to focus on. As a result, vSAN is bringing measurable new value in three key areas:

  • Simplified operations and ease of use
  • Application consistency and security
  • Ensuring holistic and proactive approach to customer support

In practice, this means an extremely intuitive management experience that includes global infrastructure visibility, streamlined operational tasks and reduced time-to-expertise.

It means delivering a consistent and secure application experience to provide predictable performance, resilience and availability, including intelligent self-healing capabilities, enhanced site protection, automated and accelerated recovery, and government-validated security.

It also means launching vSAN ReadyCare, our new end-to-end customer support experience that encompasses the best people, analytics and technology.

A colleague recently described our approach as “An exciting hybrid cloud vision that only VMware offers.” I wholeheartedly agree. And it’s a vision that we continue to reflect on, refine, update and improve, to benefit our customers. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about: delivering a great customer experience.

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