E-Handbook:

How to approach hyper-converged architecture vendors and lock-in

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Hyper-converged infrastructure market requires an open mind

The hyper-converged infrastructure market is still new, and it is evolving. As a result, it's important to keep your options open.

Sure, there will always be some disruption in a given field, but the hyper-converged market is especially volatile. It is changing rapidly with new -- larger and smaller -- players entering, plus consolidation and product launches.

The hyper-converged infrastructure market has transformed dramatically in a short time. Only a year ago, EMC had just launched VxRail, Cisco was in the early days of HyperFlex, SimpliVity was an independent vendor and hyper-converged pioneer Nutanix was still a private company. EMC is now Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) bought SimpliVity for $650 million and Nutanix completed an initial public offering. Other big companies, such as VMware, have also undergone changes regarding their hyper-converged products.

Vendor lock-in can be a concern, but there are ways to get around it or at least make it less of a pain point. Hyper-converged software runs on x86 hardware, so you can buy Nutanix software from Nutanix, Dell EMC, Lenovo or packaged on Cisco servers. Before the HPE deal, SimpliVity software was available from Cisco and Lenovo. When looking for products in the hyper-converged infrastructure market, seek out those that allow you to change hardware server vendors and keep your underlying software, or vice versa.

There has been too much action in the hyper-converged market to expect it to settle down quickly. But that's good: Vendors are working hard to best each other and seeking improvements in their hyper-converged products. Now it's up to you to clear your head, take your time and make the right choice.

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