Hyperconverged Infrastructure

VMware, for the Fifth Time, a Leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software, 2021

We’re excited to announce that, for five consecutive reports, VMware has been named a Leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software. This year, we have once again been recognized as furthest to the right for Completeness of Vision in the Leaders Quadrant.

Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Jeffrey Hewitt, Philip Dawson, Julia Palmer, Tony Harvey, 18 November 2021.

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We believe this recognition reflects the innovation in our core Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) product, vSAN, the expertise of our full-stack, software-defined infrastructure solution, VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), our industry-leading hybrid cloud ecosystem and integration with VMware Tanzu to expand our VM control plane to Kubernetes-orchestrated workloads. The most significant feature we delivered to vSAN this year: HCI Mesh™, our software-defined approach to compute and storage disaggregation for greater deployment flexibility that significantly enhances the flexibility of HCI solutions.

VCF expands HCI from integrated storage and compute (vSAN) to a full software stack with software-defined networking and advanced management available across the hybrid cloud.

Let’s look at why we think VMware HCI performed so well in this year’s Magic Quadrant:

VMware HCI Offers New Deployment Flexibility with HCI Mesh

The scale-out architecture of VMware vSAN enables powerful non-disruptive scale-up or scale-out capabilities. You can non-disruptively expand capacity and performance by adding hosts to a cluster (scale-out) or grow capacity by adding disks to a host (scale-up). As application workloads organically grow, this enables performance to be right-sized at each expansion interval. This year, VMware took HCI flexibility a step further with HCI Mesh, which brings together multiple independent clusters for a native, cross-cluster architecture that disaggregates storage and compute resources and enables efficient utilization of capacity. Simply, HCI Mesh allows one or more clusters to remotely mount datastores from other vSAN clusters within vCenter inventory. This approach maintains the essence and simplicity of HCI by not fundamentally changing the existing HCI model or requiring specialized hardware.

The enhancements in HCI Mesh unlock four new use cases:

Storage-Only Clusters

Customers can deploy a vSAN cluster that is dedicated to serve as a storage-only cluster and not host any local workloads. The entire datastore capacity would be consumed as shared storage by remote clients, which can be compute clusters and/or other vSAN clusters.

Blade Servers

Blade servers are a common deployment in datacenters that need compute-optimized infrastructure but are typically reliant on external storage solutions. With HCI Mesh, customers can remotely utilize vSAN storage capacity for their blade servers as an alternative to external storage solutions.

Cost savings for database licensing

Since HCI Mesh is a software-based approach that separates compute and storage resources, scaling of capacity for a database workload does not require additional 3rd party licensing. After a workload is deployed on a compute cluster (which is licensed for the 3rd party software), storage for that workload is separated and remotely provisioned on a vSAN cluster that can be scaled independently, which does not require additional 3rd party licensing.

Storage Tiering

Leveraging HCI Mesh will allow administrators to utilize the right storage where it’s needed, by allowing tiering of storage across different cluster types. Tiering is achieved by allowing the client cluster to mount multiple remote vSAN datastores – each with a different class of storage. Tiered storage is fully disaggregated from the compute layer, so the benefits of independent scaling and lifecycle management also apply.

VMware HCI Offers the Most Paths to Hybrid Cloud

We know IT organizations of all sizes and industry verticals are adopting hybrid cloud at a rapid rate, and many of them are looking to HCI to accelerate the transition to hybrid cloud. In a recently completed survey, VMware found that the ability to create a hybrid cloud environment was the top benefit of hyperconverged infrastructure.

Question: Why is your company using [PRIMARY HCI] solution over traditional 3-tier infrastructure?, n=497

Source: Delacroix, Radu and Susan Wright. VMware HCI Applications Study. September 2020.

We believe we are one of IT’s top choices when it comes to hybrid IT because of the industry-leading capabilities of VMware Cloud Foundation and breadth of cloud offerings with the top global hyperscalers and over 500+ cloud provider partners that offer VMware HCI-as-a-Service.

VMware has a broad range of cloud solutions that utilize VMware HCI on-premises and in the cloud and is the only HCI solution to have full stack services with AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, Oracle and IBM Cloud, providing ease of cross-cloud workload migration. 

VMware has the only HCI solution on AWS that is fully vendor, not customer, managed. As VMware manages the infrastructure, customers can focus on innovation instead of lifecycle management, which introduces needless complexity and risk into a public cloud environment. With VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, customers can also have a fully managed private cloud in their data centers; VMware alone can provide a fully managed hybrid cloud as a turn-key service.

VMware HCI Simplifies Adoption of Modern Applications

We believe that VMware is the absolute leader in cloud native infrastructure; supporting modern apps through Kubernetes integration is key for VMware’s vision and why VMware acquired Heptio in 2018 and launched VMware Tanzu and VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu. This year, VMware added the vSAN Data Persistence platform (DPp), a management framework that allows third parties to integrate their cloud native applications with vSphere management, lifecycle, and data placement operations, to VMware Cloud Foundation. The platform has a number of integrations of which partners can take advantage and they can be broken down into four sections: Observability, Data Placement, Maintenance Operations, and Failure Handling. Today, Cloudian Hyperstore and MinIO integrate with the Data Persistence platform.

The Data Persistence platform is one more enhancement in a full stack solution built for modern apps. VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu provides an integrated control plane, container registry, cloud-native storage, load balancing and VM management – all natively available through the Kubernetes API for true developer self-service. 

With both vSAN and VMware Cloud Foundation, the Cloud Native Storage (CNS) feature for vSphere implements the Container Storage Interface (CSI) spec that the container orchestrator communities have rallied around, and it enables Kubernetes to understand how to carry out both storage provisioning and management tasks on vSphere. Official support with CNS and CSI is for Kubernetes, whether VMware Tanzu, RedHat OpenShift, Google Anthos, Docker Enterprise Edition, Rancher, etc. If the solution is upstream Kubernetes based, it is supported with CNS, regardless of the vendor packaging it. You can read more about it on our blog.

Get Started Today

We believe VMware HCI, through vSAN and VCF, give you the best options for realizing value today while future proofing you for tomorrow, and we encourage you to learn more by downloading the Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software and looking through the other resources below: