Why go for plain old converged systems when you can hyper the hell out of your infrastructure? That seems to be the question that more and more customers are asking.
According to IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, sales went up 19.6 per cent year-on-year to $3.2bn during the calendar first quarter of 2018.
However, certified reference architectures (CRA) - Cisco and NetApp's FlexPod and Dell EMC's VxBlock - crossed the quarter's finishing line with sales of $1.4bn, a dip of 0.9 per cent, as the hyperconverged gear jumped by more than 76 per cent to $1.23bn.
Dell EMC again ruled the converged/CRA/integrated infrastructure world despite sales slipping 1 per cent to $641.3m. The company owned a 48 per cent share of the market but the gap with its nearest rival has narrowed.
Converged systems, however, could be shaken up by Dell EMC's VxBlock 1000, with support for PowerMax and XtremIO X2, so a fight back could be on the cards.
In second spot, Cisco/NetApp reported sales of $462m, up 16.8 per cent, which handed it 36.4 per cent share of the spoils – a year ago the duo had 13.4 per cent of the market.
Way behind in third place was Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which slumped by 42.4 per cent to $105.3m, leaving it nursing market share of 7.9 per cent compared to 13.6 per cent in the year-ago period.
The Others section grew 4.6 per cent to $128.5m, taking market share to 9.6 per cent.
Hyperconverged systems are hot right now and getting hotter: sales leaped 76.3 per cent in total to $1.227bn.
Again, here Dell EMC ruled the roost by managing to outpace the market average, growing 142 per cent to $363m, accounting for almost 30 per cent of all hyperconverged boxes shifted globally.
Nutanix grew at less than half the rate of Dell EMC, reporting growth of 71.5 per cent to $273m and reduced market share of 22.2 per cent, down from 22.9 per cent in Q1 of 2017. This was, however, an acceleration on last quarter's 50.6 per cent growth rate.
Now we come to the relative market sector tiddlers: HPE grew 112.3 percent to $61m, giving it a 5 per cent market share. Cisco sales were up 112.3 per cent to $59.9m and it took a 4.9 per cent slice of all systems sold. The Others section, which includes NetApp, grew 76.3 per cent to $470.4m.
On hand with a canned quote was Eric Shepard, research veep at IDC: "Organisations around the world are increasing investments on data centre technologies that eliminate inefficient silos and support business-centric rather than infrastructure-centric decisions." ®