Dell EMC Launches Innovative New Solution

In late January of this year, Dell took the product portfolio handled by its Converged Platforms and Solutions Division (CPSD) and disbursed it across its server, storage, and networking divisions. Prior to this organizational shift, CPSD had the ultimate responsibility for building and delivering Dell’s converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) products.

While there are undoubtedly many factors that drive a reorganization of this significance, it does send a few clear signals about how Dell perceives the converged infrastructure market.  Converged infrastructure, in all of its forms, is now firmly integrated into the DNA of each of the product groups at Dell. This supports the view that CI and HCI are no longer an emergent set of technologies needing to be nurtured, but rather a maturing set of capabilities that add value to Dell’s broad portfolio of data center products. It’s a smart and forward-looking move for Dell

In mid-February, Dell launched the Dell EMC VxBlock 1000 series of converged infrastructure solutions. The VxBlock 1000 architecture provides an innovative solution to some of the existing concerns about deploying and maintaining converged infrastructure. This release is a further demonstration of how Dell is evolving the conversation around convergence. I’ll talk more about that below.

The CI and HCI Market

Whether you look at CI or HCI, Dell is winning—and winning big. IDC’s latest market share numbers show Dell holding nearly 54% of the HCI market and roughly 49% of the CI market.  That’s an incredible position to hold, especially if you look at it relative to their competitors in each of these markets.

The number two player in the HCI space is Nutanix, with a respectable 30.4% share of the market and a larger footprint than the numbers suggest. Nutanix has strong partner sell-through relationships, with Dell itself selling a significant number of its Dell EMC XC Servers with Nutanix software installed. Nutanix also has a growing relationship with IBM, providing Nutanix HCI software to IBM’s Power servers. Nutanix is an innovator in the HCI space, and I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future.

The number two player in the overall converged infrastructure market is the combination of Cisco Systems and NetApp, with nearly 34% share. Like Nutanix in the HCI space, Cisco has a much larger footprint in the CI world than published share numbers indicate. Cisco is a key partner with seemingly everyone. Its NetApp partnership for converged infrastructure brings Cisco’s server technology into play. Additionally, Cisco has an emerging relationship with Pure Storage, providing UCS technology as part of Pure’s CI offering. Cisco Systems is a foundational player in converged solutions and isn’t going anywhere in this space. It’s also worth noting that the company is integral to Dell’s CI solutions.

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