Earlier this year, Alex Barrett at TechTarget wrote an article about hyperconvergence, Hyperconvergence tackles storage and server strain. In it, she noted that hyperconvergence was a natural step beyond the converged infrastructure offerings that existed previously. Hyperconverged offerings are more than just a bundle of prepackaged components, bringing in additional technology to integrate the system.
But Alex never discusses just how deep this technology and integration have to go to benefit IT admins? Having now deployed more than 900 HC3 clusters at customer sites, we’ve learned a number of things over the last two years.
Most importantly: Owning the stack matters.
Different players in the space have naturally taken different approaches. When there’s a new market like hyperconvergence, sometimes it’s difficult at first to determine what all those differences are and, more importantly, what they ultimately mean for customers.
While some took the path of integrating servers and storage while leveraging existing virtualization environments, we took a noticeably different approach: With HC3, we were the entire stack, from hypervisor to server to storage, and it was our technology that provided an end to end integration of all these components.
Why this approach? Because we saw the opportunity to deliver a very different customer experience than, namely, VMware. From the beginning, we created HC3 to be the alternative to a VMware based infrastructure.
This difference radically changes the customer experience when dealing with infrastructure. We own the stack, so if a customer needs help with setup, or diagnosing a problem, or rolling out new applications, we understand the environment from top to bottom. We sought to eliminate the tech-support run around that plagues traditional IT. No more vendor finger pointing when something goes wrong, with VMware blaming the storage vendor, or the storage vendor blaming the server vendor, or everyone being puzzled over how exactly to configure that switch to make all things work together.
Owning the stack from end to end gives our customers a very different experience, one where we can stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and with confidence, help with their environment.
One of the inspirations for delivering this type of customer experience was the old IBM AS/400 system. Here was a product that combined hardware, software, and expertise to deliver, for midsize companies, a solution which was fully backed by a vendor who could help. IT administrators could focus on running business applications, while knowing that the infrastructure itself would “just work.”
That’s the type of experience we are now delivering with HC3: Ultra-easy to use, highly available, and scalable – but also a fully integrated stack backed by a company who understands that entire environment and can keep it running, allowing our customers to focus on the applications, not on the infrastructure and the collection of hardware and software used in other environments.
Alex Barrett is correct when she says hyperconvergence is a major step beyond converged infrastructure. Our customers often tell us that once they have tried it, “Hyperconverged is just better, cheaper and easier! Wow!” – or put another way, “It’s not VMware; it’s better!” We built it that way by design, and it’s great to see our customers enjoying this enhanced experience as a result.
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