One thing that’s constant in discussions around technology is that everything is changing fast. Right now, the buzz is around digital transformation. And technology is inevitably getting more and more complex in relentless pursuit of that goal.
Although it’s easy to point the finger at IT departments for this, the increase in complexity is largely being driven by users. They want the ability to do more, right now, in any location – whether on the network edge, in a data center, or in the cloud. The days when all major computing components were consolidated in a central data center are long gone and Hybrid IT estates are the new reality.
This has increased the pressure on IT departments to support users with the services they want, when and where they want them. Essentially, this means IT departments must respond much faster, or lose control – because Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is only ever a few clicks away for impatient users. As a consequence, CIOs are always on the lookout for new technologies to enable the enablers by delivering more flexibility and faster time-to-results. Right now, the stand-out piece of technology that’s delivering stellar results is called hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).
I’ll leave the technical details to my colleagues. But let’s just say that choosing HCI is like buying a car. All the different parts have been put together, and are guaranteed to fit, so all you need to do is turn the key and drive away. And we know that technology unfortunately hasn’t always been like that.
Why are global IT decision-makers turning to HCI?
Businesses that implement software defined HCI systems are significantly improving the efficiency of how they are using resources. This was clear from our study which surveyed 819 global IT decision-makers. They’re finding the systems are easier to scale and they’re also benefitting from the automation and fast storage – compared to businesses still using traditional IT.
Some 91% of survey respondents consider the speed of application performance as a key consideration for HCI systems adoption. Around 90% of decision-makers rate improved scalability as a key driver, and 83% say server and storage consolidation was a key consideration. In addition, 83% appreciate the efficient use of resources as a result of increased component utilization, and 80% say simplified management is a key driver.
The study also revealed that two-thirds (66%) see HCI as an ideal foundational technology for hybrid IT, in part because there are many similarities between the two technologies. Both extensively use resource sharing, are software-based or virtualized, and have a unified management model.
These are pretty interesting figures – I remember not so long ago there was a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt related to HCI. Customers feared it would create yet more silos because some HCI systems are only available as fixed-size building blocks. There were also doubts that HCI would be appropriate for a broad range of application cases. However, as the study confirms, these concerns seem to have evaporated, and IT teams are powering ahead to implement HCI across the board.
Enabling greater workload mobility
HCI and hybrid IT are signs of a broader requirement for enterprise workload mobility, according to our research partner Tony Lock, Director of Engagement and Distinguished Analyst. “The study shows there’s a significant amount of workload migration going on, and IT decision-makers are driving it in different directions,” says Tony.
It’s clear HCI usage is growing for many different applications as IT pros and system architects increasingly recognize the efficiencies and simplified management benefits it can bring. I anticipate this trend continuing and expect that we’ll soon see HCI adoption taking the next logical step. This will be the transition from being an efficient platform for business applications, to becoming a strategic building block for modern IT service delivery.
You can find the full details and stats from our study in our free downloadable report.