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July 08, 2014


David Robertson

Just as a point of clarification on SimpliVity (I am an employee). Along with our own inline deudped storage and other features, we allow customers to mount their other IP-based storage and also expose our storage to other ESXi hosts. At the end of the day we layer on top of ESXi, just leaving end users the ability to still use and interact with ESXi just like they do today. Great post!

Samuel Halfon

Hi Chuck, I believe you are talking about Vspex instead of Vplex, 4th paragraph of part #1 Converged Infrastructure

Chuck Hollis

Samuel -- thanks for the catch. And I should know better :)

-- Chuck

Brad Ramsey

Agreed that there are some advantages to “hypervisor-converged” - particularly when it comes to management and simplification. Of course there will always be some advantages to running in the kernel. The trade-off (at least today) seems to be the more enterprise-class storage features that you find in some of the "hyper-converged" offerings (inline dedupe/compression, zero-copy clones, efficient backups/replication, even things like in-memory storage pools).

It seems if you include those features in VSAN it would greatly increase the size of the kernel - or you would have to run as a virtual appliance. I'm interested to see the future generations of VSAN. I'm curious if running in the kernel might cause it to be more limited in feature set.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Brad -- thanks for the comment. Much easier to chat here than on Twitter ...

So, I think there's a healthy discussion about what functionality belongs in the kernel itself, what should be tightly integrated with the kernel (although perhaps run in user space), and what should be layered cleanly with little or no kernel integration. But there's no arguing that the kernel as a potential integration point brings a lot to the table.

And, you're right, the current VSAN version is a bit light on some of those enterprise features. But I'd argue you can always add features; changing the basic architecture rarely succeeds. And I'm making an architectural argument here.

If we shift the focus instead to things like integration, simplicity, operational efficiency, etc. -- I'm convinced that tightly integrating key storage functionality in the hypervisor offers a substantial architectural advantage.

Now I just have to convince everyone else ...


Chuck i am really interested to understand your view on what is the total size of the hyper converged market. I am guessing the players here with 2013 revenues are Nutanix ($80M), Simplivity ($62M?), Scale Computing ($50M?), Maxta(?), VSAN (?. i am guessing by simple sum of parts and some guess work it would be about a $200 - 250M market??

Chuck Hollis

It's hard to get at a precise number, as many of the players aren't publicly held companies yet, and don't have to disclose accurate revenue numbers.

The other relevant question is -- are we counting software, or hardware+software? The latter obviously is a far bigger number.

Using VMware as an example, we know what we're getting for license revenue, but only have a vague idea of how much hardware is being dragged behind it.

On the face of it, I'd say your guess is a little on the high side, probably less than $200m hardware+software in 2014. But certainly growing fast.


thank you Chuck!

I am looking at hardware+software and my estimate of $ 200-250M was for 2013 not 2014. My sense of 2014 is that Nutanix alone will have a runrate of $200M and the market would be more like a $400M+ market. Do you think that sounds ok?

Your point about hardware+software brings me to another intriguing question - what do you think is the hardware/software split of revenue for hyper converged systems? My sense (and this is purely from gut!!) is that since this market is primarily a software play, software would be over 50% of revenue contributor here.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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