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Key Criteria for Evaluating Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solutionsv3.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. HCI Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Traditional infrastructures are too complex, too difficult to manage, too slow to adapt to changes, and too expensive to adequately respond to evolving business needs. Information technology (IT) departments everywhere are looking to save money while becoming more efficient in terms of both resource provisioning and reaction time. Moreover, recent global events have accelerated many digital transformation initiatives, and now more than ever, enterprises need an IT infrastructure that can adequately support legacy and modern applications simultaneously while providing a consistent user experience across different on-premises and cloud environments.

A cloud-only IT strategy is not viable for many organizations. Even the most aggressive cloud-only strategies of today are refocusing on a more balanced hybrid and multicloud approach. Unfortunately, mixing cloud and traditional IT infrastructures heightens the risk of creating silos, heading in exactly the wrong direction and complicating the overall infrastructure even more. Unlike traditional infrastructure patterns, however, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a step forward in simplicity and flexibility. HCI lets organizations hide IT infrastructure complexity while realizing the benefits of a cloud-like environment. HCI simplifies operations and facilitates the transport of data and applications between on-premises and cloud environments.

While choosing the right HCI infrastructure remains challenging, the core technology is consolidated, and most of the vendors have mature stacks. As we will see, what really makes the difference now are services and features built on top of this stack. Often, new services are built using containers and require an orchestration layer such as Kubernetes for production deployment. The HCI approach is being applied to bridging the gap between cloud-native Kubernetes deployments and enterprise application development and operations methodologies. Application deployment at the edge (beyond corporate data centers) requires an HCI platform that can manage a larger number of smaller clusters for the distributed nature of edge computing.

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of the HCI market, identify capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technology) and evaluation metrics for selecting a HCI platform, and detail vendors and products that excel. These reports give prospective buyers an overview of the top vendors in this sector and help decision-makers to evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.