The Top Three Applications Moving to HCI

The Top Three Applications Moving to HCI

Applications running on hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) are more diverse than ever, as more organizations select HCI as their production infrastructure for mission-critical workloads. VMware is pleased to announce the results of a recently completed customer survey of over 600 organizations currently deploying an HCI solution globally.   The changing landscape is breathtaking. These organizations have come to trust HCI with their most critical applications as HCI use cases have grown exponentially. For a more complete look at the significant findings, check out our eBook, Why Forward-Thinking Organizations Are Making the Move to HCI.

HCI: A Modern Infrastructure for All Workloads

VMware first surveyed our user base in 2017 to better understand how customers were using our product. In a survey of over 300 customers, we found the top deployed applications were:

2017 Survey Results

  • Relational Databases (67% of users deployed)
  • Microsoft Applications (26% of users deployed)
  • VDI (21% of users deployed)

However, in our latest survey, we doubled the number of respondents, as well as surveyed users in both the Americas and Europe to get better insights into changes underway in the data center. Here are the top three shifts we saw in applications deployed on HCI:

In addition, current HCI users tend to be ardent promoters of the technology. We found that the vast majority of HCI adopters plan to make it either the only infrastructure or the majority of the infrastructure for new workloads.

Why HCI is Rapidly Becoming the Default Infrastructure

VMware has continuously innovated with our HCI solution to enable it to tackle larger, more complex workloads. Here are few recently delivered capabilities that address our customer’s needs for performance, scalability, and support for modern workloads:


VMware has focused on providing a highly performant storage infrastructure since its inception. One of the first features introduced in vSAN was all-flash support, including NVMe, and we’ve always supported the latest storage technologies as they became available. vSAN supports up to 150,000 IOPS per node, with over 9M IOPS possible with the largest cluster sizes. However, vSAN performance isn’t limited to just hardware support; we’ve continuously improved our software, and with the release of vSAN 7 Update 1 in September 2020, we increased performance by up to 30% as compared to vSAN 6.7 Update 3 through CPU optimizations, improved parallelization, faster resyncs and network enhancements.


HCI can scale more precisely than traditional storage, lowering costs and shortening procurement times. vSAN can scale down to as few as two nodes and up to 64 nodes per cluster, and users can grow the environments in as little as single node increments as needed. HCI can scale out by adding nodes to a host, or scale up by adding drives to existing nodes; some server OEMs offer storage dense nodes with up to 96 TB per node. Recently, VMware introduced HCI Mesh, VMware’s unique, software-based approach to compute and storage disaggregation. HCI Mesh adds two new ways to scale:

  • Scale across clusters: vSAN allows allowing one or more vSAN clusters to remotely mount datastores from other vSAN clusters (servers) within vCenter inventory
  • vSAN clusters can share capacity with non-HCI clusters. In effect, HCI can serve as external storage for compute clusters, with the lower costs and operational simplicity of HCI providing a modern user experience

Support for Modern Workloads

Supporting modern, microservices-based applications orchestrated by Kubernetes present unique requirements for IT infrastructure, especially storage infrastructure. Application developers need to quickly build new apps requiring a  shift to a cloud operating model, which requires better collaboration between developers and IT operators. IT admins, benefit from having a single storage platform for modern and traditional apps. In recent releases, VMware has integrated a native control plane for container persistent storage, enabling developers simple access infrastructure via Kubernetes APIs, while providing admins insights into the infrastructure for easier collaboration and management. In addition, the VMware vSAN™ Data Persistence platform provides a framework for modern stateful service providers to build deep integration with the underlying virtual infrastructure leveraging the Kubernetes operator method and vSphere Pod Service, allowing customers to run their stateful applications with lower TCO and simplified operations and management.

Get More Insights from our eBook

If you want to read more about how organizations are using hyperconverged infrastructure to modernize IT and transform their businesses, visit this page to access the full report.

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