Cisco's hyperconvergence strategy continues to take shape as vendor unveils HyperFlex
Cisco's hyperconverged data center strategy will take form later this year when the company launches HyperFlex Systems, a UCS-based compute platform the vendor has been developing for more than two years.
Much has been speculated recently about Cisco's hyperconvergence strategy. Although Cisco maintains relations with VCE, which it was once an equal partner in, and continues to contribute UCS to VCE appliances, the vendor also recently struck a deal with hyperconverged infrastructure firm Springpath.
Now we're seeing the fruits of that partnership. HyperFlex is built on Cisco UCS and the company's existing converged infrastructure business, as well as software from Springpath. It puts Cisco in a good position as it builds out its data center hyperconvergence strategy and aims to capture a larger portion of the data center market.
HyperFlex is also the next logical step after UCS, which Cisco noted in a press release is currently being used by 50,000 customers. Not too shabby at all, but it may be a drop in the bucket of the converged infrastructure market, which industry analysts expect to grow significantly over the next few years.
Gartner noted last year that Cisco had moved up in the converged infrastructure world, but some skepticism still existed regarding the company's ability to "demonstrate that it can extend its success to modular, scaleout systems that integrate UCS and direct-attached storage from center to edge, and deliver a software-defined storage offering that can compete with many recent entrants in the HCIS market."
There is already much competition in a market that includes leaders (according to Gartner) like Cisco, HPE, VCE, Oracle, Nutanix and NetApp. There are many others noted in the Gartner Magic Quadrant that are on the rise, including names like SimpliVity, IBM, Huawei, Fujitsu, Lenovo and Dell.
According to Cisco, HyperFlex feature plug-and-play setup so it can be up and running within minutes instead of days. It will also sport various data management services to reduce the data footprint by up to 80 percent.
At the same time it announced HyperFlex, Cisco also unveiled new Nexus 9000 switches that offer enterprises greater bandwidth (100 Gbps) and help data centers to achieve a more cloud-like scale with the ability support millions of containers per rack.