WAHOO! Gartner published their “Integrated Infrastructure” MQ – and here are the results (click on the below for the full reprint)
Hot on the heels of the formation of Dell Technologies, and a strong Q3 (particularly with respect to VxRail and new VxBlock customer acquisition) - I’m PUMPED to share with you that for the third consecutive year the Converged Platforms and Solutions Division of Dell EMC has been recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems.
Now - I don’t think that customers should make their decisions purely on the Gartner MQ, or any analyst for that matter. They shouldn’t make their decisions based on what I say – or anyone with a given bias (conscious or unconscious) says. Also – every customer is different – the right answer for one is different than another.
That said – Gartner, like all great analysts sees a lot, gets a ton of inbound, has time to investigate, and dive deep – so it’s a data point.
My friend and colleague (and our Office of the CTO leader for the CPSD team) Trey Layton’s also wrote a fantastic blog about the news and the industry perspective on this achievement, but I wanted to share mine also.
Here’s what I think is interesting here:
- We were selected based on the combination of “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute” scores. This matters to me, and matters to customers. Killer execution with crap tech, well, it’s still crap – but well executed :-) Conversely, amazing tech and solutions with no ability to execute, well – it’s sad and meaningless (and ends up in someone’s hands that can execute). The report gave a shout out to integrated systems portfolio that can address the vast majority of application workloads in any given enterprise. Furthermore, Gartner says that when it comes to Converged Systems (built on blade systems integrated with SANs) – aka the V/VxBlock technology developed by the Converged Platforms Division is “generally regarded by end users and competitors as the industry benchmark.” We will keep innovating in the “Block” CI space, and 2016 is the Year of All Flash (#YOAF), and we’re leaning in hard in partnership with Cisco. I think it’s fair to note that we have some uncertainty to plow through as the dust settles on the Dell EMC merger – but the dust is settling, we’re down to business – and while our commitment to Cisco on UCS is solid as a rock – you’ll see our “ability to execute” on HCI with PowerEdge go through the roof. Wait for it.
- Gartner and the market is just now starting to realize is that we’re just getting started – and we are VERY serious about hyper-converged infrastructure. Their prediction was that by 2019, this will be a market which is 30% about HCI and SDS – versus just 5% right now. Recent turbo charged performances delivered by both VxRail and VxRack have catapulted us into a leadership position in the HCI market. Just seven months after launch VxRail has already achieved sales of 3800+ Nodes — which translates to 60,000+ CPU cores, 700TB RAM and 25+ PB of storage in more than 90 countries. That is what I call a face melting achievement! Oh, and 3 months ago – we were at 1700+ nodes (and similar in the other dimensions). If I was a startup, I would call that 123% quarter over quarter growth :-) Of course, we have an HCI portfolio – not just VxRail. Beyond VxRail, VxRack systems are cooking, and for customers who want to have a HCI appliance that doesn’t design completely around a vSphere, Dell EMC XC is also cooking (roughly similar size business to VxRail). If you add them up – even not including VSAN-ready nodes (which I would call a bundle, not an HCI) – I **think** we’ve become the #1 HCI vendor by quarterly revenues. Thank you to the customers and our partners for voting with your feet, and your dollars! Regardless of whether my accounting is right or wrong (in the HCI market, customer counts/revenues are hard since so many of the players are not public) – we’re either #1 or within striking distance. Oh, and we have more up our sleeve, and the teams are working FURIOUSLY. At Dell EMC World in a week – we will unleash the next volley in our ongoing journey to total HCI market leadership – stay tuned, and make sure to keep reading Virtual Geek!
- We’re also listening to critiques – we are far from perfect. Gartner highlight strengths of others that we’ve been paying close attention to – areas where frankly we could do better. The most elite athletes are always looking towards how to get incrementally better – and unafraid to say “yup, they do that better than we do”. As the product and engineering teams work on the next-generation Management and Orchestration stack (code-named “Symphony”) that we will use across blocks/racks/appliances – the idea of a common programmable and open “CI/HCI API” for Dell EMC could be a game-changer – particularly if we can pull this off across CI, HCI, and even into the component elements of the portfolios of servers, networks, storage – and do it in a cool way. We do not believe that this is about creating a proprietary API that is “bound” to proprietary hardware (storage, network, or servers in rack mount, modular, blade or composable system form – hint, hint, hint) – but rather doing something that is open. I don’t want people to get too excited, we have a ways to go, but if you find yourself in a CF Dojo in Cambridge or the Bay Area – you might find people working on something cool :-)
- CI and HCI isn’t the answer for everyone. Unlike some of our CI/HCI competition on this Gartner Magic Quadrant (which by it’s nature builds a taxonomy and ranking criteria of a subset of the market aka “Integrated Systems”) – we don’t stop at just CI/HCI. We offer the full continuum of blueprints to simplify our customer’s IT – from “build” (reference architectures, bundles, validated systems), to “buy” (CI/HCI) – including full hybrid Cloud Platforms (Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, the Native Hybrid Cloud, the Microsoft CPS stacks – and in the future, Microsoft’s Azure Stack). The Gartner team notes that as a potential weakness, which I think is interesting. Perhaps they don’t know that we, for example, sell as many VSAN-ready-nodes as we do VxRail appliances. Each of those customers using VSAN-ready nodes may be more towards the “build” end of the spectrum than those choosing VxRail or VxRack who achieve “buy” outcomes… but they are choosing Dell EMC, and even more broadly they are picking Dell Technologies, including VMware. They are also customers that in the future may choose to move even further down the “build/buy” continuum with us into CI/HCI – and perhaps into full turnkey cloud stacks. IMO, that’s a strength, not a weakness – but only if we continue to execute well. This Gartner observation is reflected in Dell having improved its position from being in the niche quadrant to the visionary quadrant. By adding Dell’s integrated systems to our own portfolio of advanced converged and hyper-converged solutions, we are now able to offer our customers a continuum of choices where they can either build their own outcomes - by individually sourcing compute, networking, storage and software, or buy their outcomes - through highly engineered turnkey solutions.
…And this is just the latest validation of what the market and customers are choosing. Recently we were recognized as a “Strong Performer” by Forrester Research, Inc. in its August 2016 report The Forrester Wave™: Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), Q3 2016. Moor Insights and Strategy issued a report that predicts Dell EMC will become a converged systems powerhouse.
Dell EMC is leading the market share for integrated systems according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker Q2 2016 report – and IDC does “quantitative” analysis like nobody else.
Wait until they see what we do, and how we end up in Q4. :-)
I don’t underestimate our competitors one iota. In fact, I treasure them. They innovate, fight, and we compete furiously. We need to continue to challenge ourselves, fight for every customer, push to delight them at every opportunity, to support customers large and small, and with all sorts of workloads – something that can never be done with a single product. We can never rest on laurels. And ultimately – what Gartner, IDC, Forester says, what I say – it matters far, far less than what YOU say in aggregate, the choices you make.
To all the employees, to all our partners, to all our customers – THANK YOU.