The race is on at full speed. What race? The race to bring public cloud agility and economics to a data center near you. Ever since the first integrated systems came onto the scene in 2010, vendors have been furiously engineering solutions to make on-premises infrastructure as cost effective and as easy to use as the public cloud, while also providing the security, availability, and control that enterprises demand. Fundamentally, two main architectures have evolved within the race to modernize data centers that will create a foundation enabling fully private and hybrid clouds. The first approach uses traditional compute, storage, and networking infrastructure components (traditional 3-tier) overlaid with varying degrees of virtualization and management software. The second more recent approach is to build a fully virtualized data center using industry standard servers and networking and then layer on top of that a full suite of software-based compute, network, and storage virtualization with management software. This approach is often termed a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).
The goal of an SDDC is to extend virtualization techniques across the entire data center to enable the abstraction, pooling, and automation of all data center resources. This would allow a business to dynamically reallocate any part of the infrastructure for various workload requirements without forklifting hardware or rewiring. VMware has taken SDDC to a new level with VMware Cloud Foundation. VMware Cloud Foundation is the only unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud, which brings together VMware’s compute, storage, and network virtualization into a natively integrated stack that can be deployed on-premises or run as a service from the public cloud. It establishes a common cloud infrastructure foundation that gives customers a unified and consistent operational model across the private and public cloud.
VMware Cloud Foundation delivers an industry-leading SDDC cloud infrastructure by combining VMware’s highly scalable hyper-converged software (vSphere and VSAN) with the industry leading network virtualization platform, NSX. VMware Cloud Foundation comes with unique lifecycle management capabilities (SDDC Manager) that eliminate the overhead of system operations of the cloud infrastructure stack by automating day 0 to day 2 processes such as bring-up, configuration, workload provisioning, and patching/upgrades. As a result, customers can significantly shorten application time to market, boost cloud admin productivity, reduce risk, and lower TCO. Customers consume VMware Cloud Foundation software in three ways: factory pre-loaded on integrated systems (VxRack 1000 SDDC); deployed on top qualified Ready Nodes from HPE, QCT, Fujitsu, and others in the future, with qualified networking; and run as a service from the public cloud through IBM, vCAN partners, vCloud Air, and more to come.
In this comparative study, Taneja Group performed an in-depth analysis of VMware Cloud Foundation deployed on qualified Ready Nodes and qualified networking versus several traditional 3-tier converged infrastructure (CI) integrated systems and traditional 3-tier do-it-yourself (DIY) systems. We analyzed the capabilities and contrasted key functional differences driven by the various architectural approaches. In addition, we evaluated the key CapEx and OpEx TCO cost components. Taneja Group configured each traditional 3-tier system's hardware capacity to be as close as possible to the VMware Cloud Foundation qualified hardware capacity. Further, since none of the 3-tier systems had a fully integrated SDDC software stack, Taneja Group added the missing SDDC software, making it as close as possible to the VMware Cloud Foundation software stack. The quantitative comparative results from the traditional 3-tier DIY and CI systems were averaged together into one scenario because the hardware and software components are very similar.
Our analysis concluded that both types of solutions are more than capable of handling a variety of virtualized workload requirements. However, VMware Cloud Foundation has demonstrated a new level of ease-of-use due to its modular scale-out architecture, native integration, and automatic lifecycle management, giving it a strong value proposition when building out modern next generation data centers. The following are the five key attributes that stood out during the analysis:
- Native Integration of the SDDC: VMware Cloud Foundation natively integrates vSphere, Virtual SAN (VSAN), and NSX network virtualization.
- Simplest operational experience: VMware SDDC Manager automates the life-cycle of the SDDC stack including bring up, configuration, workload provisioning, and patches/upgrades.
- Isolated workload domains: VMware Cloud Foundation provides unique administrator tools to flexibly provision subsets of the infrastructure for multi-tenant isolation and security.
- Modular linear scalability: VMware Cloud Foundation employs an architecture in which capacity can be scaled by the HCI node, by the rack, or by multiple racks.
- Seamless Hybrid Cloud: Deploy VMware Cloud Foundation for private cloud and consume on public clouds to create a seamless hybrid cloud with a consistent operational experience.
Taneja Group’s in-depth analysis indicates that VMware Cloud Foundation will enable enterprises to achieve significant cost savings. Hyper-converged infrastructure, used by many web-scale service providers, with natively integrated SDDC software significantly reduced server, storage, and networking costs. This hardware cost saving more than offset the incremental SDDC software costs needed to deliver the storage and networking capability that typically is provided in hardware from best of breed traditional 3-tier components. In this study, we measured the upfront CapEx and 3 years of support costs for the hardware and software components needed to build out a VMware Cloud Foundation private cloud on qualified Ready Nodes. In addition, Taneja Group validated a model that demonstrates the labor and time OpEx savings that can be achieved through the use of integrated end-to-end automatic lifecycle management in the VMware SDDC Manager software.
By investing in VMware Cloud Foundation, businesses can be assured that their data center infrastructure can be easily consumed, scaled, managed, upgraded and enhanced to provide the best private cloud at the lowest cost. Using a pre-engineered modular, scale-out approach to building at web-scale means infrastructure is added in hours, not days, and businesses can be assured that adding infrastructure scales linearly without complexity. VMware Cloud Foundation is the only platform that provides a natively integrated unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud with end-to-end management and with the flexibility to provision a wide variety of workloads at the push of a button.
In summary, VMware Cloud Foundation enables at least five unparalleled capabilities, generates a 45% lower 3-year TCO than the alternative traditional 3-tier approaches, and delivers a tremendous value proposition when building out a modern hybrid SDDC platform. Before blindly going down the traditional infrastructure approach, companies should take a close look at VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud.
In this report, Taneja Group presents an evaluation of the current IT Cloud Management market landscape for enterprise customers. We look at this landscape as an evolution of IT operations management grown up into the cloud era. In addition to increasingly smart and capable operational monitoring and systems management, good cloud management also requires sophisticated capabilities in both automation and orchestration at scale to support end-user provisioning and agility, and detailed financial management services that reveal multi-cloud costs for analysis and chargeback or showback. Our objective is to evaluate cloud management offerings from leading vendors to enable senior business and technology leaders to decide which vendors offer the best overall solution.
In this study, we evaluated vendors with offerings in one or more of the three fundamental areas. Several well-known vendors (VMware, Microsoft, ServiceNow, HPE, IBM and BMC) have solutions in all three areas. Other vendors focus on only one or two areas, and because it’s possible to compose a broader solution from parts, we’ve evaluated popular niche solutions within each area. All companies were required to have solutions that were generally available as of April 2016. To fairly assess the offerings, we looked at a set of differentiating factors in each of the categories that we believe enterprise customers should use to qualify cloud management solutions. As a final step, to facilitate optimal enterprise selection, we also evaluated the full solution vendors at a higher level where we looked at additional value derived from integrations across areas and other important enterprise vendor engagement factors.
Within each of the three areas that we will refer to as Cloud Orchestration, Operations Management, and Financial Management, and at the vendor level for full-suite vendors, we’ve applied categories of factors for scoring as determined by our team of experts, based on customer buying criteria, technical innovation, and market drivers. The overall results of the evaluation revealed that VMware has a strong lead in today’s competitive cloud management landscape.
In this report, Taneja Group presents an evaluation of the current IT Cloud Management market landscape for enterprise customers. We look at this landscape as an evolution of IT operations management grown up into the cloud era. In addition to increasingly smart and capable operational monitoring and systems management, good cloud management also requires sophisticated capabilities in both automation and orchestration at scale to support end-user provisioning and agility, and detailed financial management services that reveal multi-cloud costs for analysis and chargeback or showback. Our objective is to evaluate cloud management offerings from leading vendors to help senior business and technology leaders decide which vendors offer the best solution. In this study, we evaluated vendors with offerings in one or more of the three fundamental areas. Several well-known vendors (VMware, Microsoft, ServiceNow, HPE, IBM and BMC) have solutions in all three areas. Other vendors focus on only one or two areas, and because it’s possible to compose a broader solution from parts, we’ve evaluated popular niche solutions within each area. All companies were required to have solutions that were generally available as of April 2016. To fairly assess the offerings, we looked at a set of differentiating factors in each of the categories that we believe enterprise customers should use to qualify cloud management solutions. As a final step, to facilitate optimal enterprise selection, we also evaluated the full solution vendors at a higher level where we looked at additional value derived from integrations across areas and other important enterprise vendor engagement factors. Within each of the three areas that we will refer to as Cloud Orchestration, Operations Management, and Financial Management, and at the vendor level for full-suite vendors, we’ve applied categories of factors for scoring as determined by our team of experts, based on customer buying criteria, technical innovation, and market drivers. The overall results of the evaluation revealed that VMware has a strong lead in today’s competitive cloud management landscape.
Virtual Instruments, the company created by the combination of the original Virtual Instruments and Load DynamiX, recently made available a free cloud-based service and community called WorkloadCentral. The service is designed to help storage professionals understand workload behavior and improve their knowledge of storage performance. Most will find valuable insights into storage performance with the simple use of this free service. For those who want to get a deeper understanding of workload behavior over time, or evaluate different storage products to determine which one is right for their specific application environment, or optimize their storage configurations for maximum efficiency, they can buy additional Load DynamiX Enterprise products available from the company.
The intent with WorkloadCentral is to create a web-based community that can share information about a variety of application workloads, perform workload analysis and create workload simulations. In an industry where workload sharing has been almost absent, this service will be well received by storage developers and IT users alike.
Read on to understand where WorkloadCentral fits into the overall application and storage performance spectrum...
Decades of constantly advancing computing solutions have changed the world in tremendous ways, but interestingly, the IT folks running the show have long been stuck with only piecemeal solutions for managing and optimizing all that blazing computing power. Sometimes it seems like IT is a pit crew servicing a modern racing car with nothing but axes and hammers – highly skilled but hampered by their legacy tools.
While that may be a slight exaggeration, there is a serious lack of interoperability or opportunity to create joint insight between the highly varied perspectives that individual IT tools produce (even if each is useful in its own purpose). There simply has never been a widely adopted standard for creating, storing or sharing system management data, much less a cross-vendor way to holistically merge heterogeneously collected or produced management data together – even for the beneficial use of harried and often frustrated IT owners that might own dozens or more differently sourced system management solutions. That is until now.
OpsDataStore has brought the IT management game to a new level with an easy to deploy, centralized, intelligent – and big data enabled – management data “service”. It readily sucks in all the lowest level, fastest streaming management data from a plethora of tools (several ready to go at GA, but easily extended to any data source), automatically and intelligently relates data from disparate sources into a single unified “agile” model, directly provides fundamental visualization and analysis, and then can serve that unified and related data back out to enlightened and newly comprehensive downstream management workflows. OpsDataStore drops in and serves as the new systems management “nexus” between formerly disparate vendor and domain management solutions.
If you have ever been in IT, you’ve no doubt written scripts, fiddled with logfiles, created massive spreadsheets, or otherwise attempted to stitch together some larger coherent picture by marrying and merging data from two (or 18) different management data sources. The more sources you might have, the more the problem (or opportunity) grows non-linearly. OpsDataStore promises to completely fill in this gap, enabling IT to automatically multiply the value of their existing management solutions.
Storage performance technology – solid state or high-scale storage designed for high performance – has long been a tricky and fragmented market. While the market for flash-based storage has been growing steadily over the past few years, it still represents well under 10% of total installed capacity in the enterprise. A variety of storage acceleration solutions—based in the array, server and network—are now available, and yet many enterprise buyers are still poorly educated about these options and how best to address the performance needs of their business-critical apps.
Taneja Group’s latest multi-client sponsored research study addresses the relatively young and rapidly evolving market for storage acceleration and performance solutions in the enterprise. This study provides vendor sponsors with key insights into the current uptake and usage of storage acceleration and performance technologies, along with user-perceived value of key features and capabilities. The study findings will help vendors understand how to overcome sales and deployment barriers, improve and sharpen the positioning of their products/solutions, and determine where they should invest going forward, based on the technologies and use cases that will be most important to enterprise buyers over the next 2-3 years.
The 70-page research report features results from 694 completed online surveys, plus in-depth discussions with 9 selected enterprise participants. The study respondents – primarily senior IT and infrastructure managers – come from a broad range of enterprise-level organizations and industries, providing a highly representative sample of customers in the sweet spot for storage acceleration solutions.
The report begins with a description of the market landscape, which provides our perspectives on how the storage performance market has developed and where it is headed. This leads into an in-depth analysis and discussion of survey findings, including a profile of the respondents themselves. We then identify and explore several key customer populations that rose to the surface in our analysis. Understanding these different types of buyers and users is more important than ever, as we find that the market is quite fragmented, with a number of contrasting populations looking at performance from distinctly different perspectives. By studying these populations and what makes them tick, vendors will be able to assess and optimize product and marketing strategies for different classes of customers, while honing their competitive differentiation.
This Taneja Group research report was provided to our primary research sponsors in early September 2015, and is now generally available for purchase by other vendors. If you have an interest in learning more about the market and how you can make your acceleration offerings stand out, please contact Jeff Byrne (email@example.com) or Mike Matchett (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Taneja Group to put the insights in this report to work for you.