Prabu Rambadran, Director, Product and Integrated Marketing, Nutanix, caught up with Amit Singh to brief about why customers are excited about hyper converged infrastructure
How is the converged systems market shaping up in India?
Gartner predicts the size of the IT infrastructure market to be over $2 billion by 2020 in India. As public cloud deployments become mainstream for many enterprises, customers are looking to build datacenters that operate at the same efficiency and simplicity as the public cloud and bring services to market quickly. A significant portion of these investments are expected to be towards public cloud-like infrastructure. This is where we feel converged systems, specifically hyper converged infrastructure systems (HCIS), play an essential role in building the foundation.
IT will play a very important role as enterprises move towards a “digital first” focus in India. With new services rapidly coming to market, customers will opt for turnkey hyper converged infrastructure as opposed to legacy 3-tier or other forms of converged systems.
How is the trend towards software-defined everything affecting the converged systems market?
Customer expectations towards IT infrastructure have changed rapidly in the last few years, thanks to public cloud services as well as SaaS solutions. End users are no longer willing to wait for months to get the infrastructure up and running. Instead of building specialist teams that comprise compute, storage, networking, and virtualization experts, customers are moving towards building teams of IT generalists, who can efficiently procure and operate infrastructure that is simple and automated.
For this to happen, different layers of the infrastructure stack, including virtualization, storage, DR, and networking must be software-defined and work in tandem. Automation replaces manual tasks and fault-tolerant distributed systems replace solutions that had single points of failure.
We envisage the industry moving towards software-defined everything, so that infrastructure just works and all the focus is on the apps and services that power the business.
Among the converged systems portfolio, which technology is gaining highest adoption and why?
Within the converged systems family, HCIS is the only true technological innovation. The rest of the solutions essentially take technologies that have existed for decades and instead of a customer tying different pieces to make things work, the integration happens on the factory floor. But the technology is still complex, expensive and time to value is still high.
HCIS brings the same design constructs used by the large cloud providers and fundamentally transforms how IT and services are deployed. Silos within the datacenters can be eliminated and specialized skills are not required to deploy and manage different aspects of the datacenter. It promises high levels of operational simplicity, clubbed with high degrees of automation enabling IT to deliver public cloud-like services within their on-premise datacenters.
In terms of adoption, we are seeing implementation of HCIS in large scale enterprises to support mission-critical workloads, based on Oracle, Microsoft SQL, SAP and more. We have seen customers who start with a specific use case, before transforming their datacenter over a period of time. Moreover, many organizations among our global 2000 enterprise customer-base are completely re-platforming their datacenters.
What are the various use cases of HCIS in an organization? What are the cost benefits?
We have seen all kinds of workloads moving to HCIS – from mission-critical applications, big data applications, messaging to collaboration. In fact, over 50 percent of workloads which are getting deployed on Nutanix HCIS fall under the business-critical category.
As a matter of fact, most VDI projects failed which were started with legacy infrastructure. HCIS with a scalable distributed architecture is ideal for VDI. Moreover, once customers deploy VDI, they quickly realize that they can migrate majority of their applications to HCIS.
Further, based on a recently concluded IDC study, customers have seen 60 percent lower TCO with Nutanix HCIS in comparison to legacy infrastructure. Additionally, there were 97 percent fewer unplanned incidents. The 5-year ROI was over 534 percent, with the investment paid back in just 7 months. Finally, switching to Nutanix HCIS solutions helped them with $10.56 million in additional revenue per year.
Few of the customers allege that Integrated Systems get them into a vendor lock-in. What’s your thought?
The answer varies depending on the vendor. While certain solutions lock you to a specific hypervisor or hardware vendor, we believe in openness and choice. From a hypervisor perspective, customers can choose Nutanix’s native hypervisor AHV, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer. From a hardware point of view, there are options with the Nutanix NX platform, Dell-EMC, Lenovo, IBM, Cisco, HP, etc. Similarly from a cloud integration perspective, customers can choose between Azure and AWS.