Hybrid hyperconvergence is the new blue: first NetApp launched its hyperconverged appliances by emphasising hybrid credentials and now IBM and IBM and Cisco have given their shared hyperconverged VersaStacks the hybrid cloud treatment.
Like NetApp, Big Blue is emphasising the ability to put data wherever it makes most sense for it to reside – inside the appliance, on external arrays or tape libraries or in Bluemix or AWS cloud storage, or storage managed by Openstack Swift – all while being able to consider it in logical pools rather than physical silos. IBM's able to do so by integrating its Spectrum software-defined block storage with the UCS-packing VersaStack appliances.
Cisco's also contributed its Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite, which can automate application deployments to “ more than 20 cloud types and regions”.
The pair have also cooked up a VersaStack for desktop virtualization, an application often run on hyperconverged infrastructure as it's helpful to keep VDI traffic inside an appliance instead of bouncing between servers and SANs.
IBM and Cisco are hitting a few sweet spots here. It's widely assumed that users are going to find themselves using multiple clouds, either by risk-reducing design or thanks to end-users just buying what they think they need. Infrastructure will need to be able to work across those clouds while also offering the cloud-like experience that hyperconverged vendors promise and organisations apparently want their on-premises kit to deliver.
Of course IBM and Cisco have plenty of competition. But integrating their hybrid wares and adding a VDI-centric product puts them well and truly in the game. ®