back to article Vision? Execution? Sadly, omission and confusion rule Gartner's virty quadrant

Gartner has released its Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualisation Infrastructure. It annoys me. Normally, I can write of it as simply being Gartner, and move on ... normally. But storage and virtualisation specifically – and anyone who thinks these two markets are separate doesn't understand them – are on my list, of late …

  1. Chris Miller

    How does a Gartner Magic Quadrant work?

    Or a simpler explanation (courtesy of Ratbert) ...

  2. Nate Amsden

    In the market for two years

    Well as someone who has been more in the virtualization market for the past 15 years or so (going back to vmware 1.0.2, and ran my first production e-commerce vmware instances on top of VMware GSX 3.0 in 2004). My opinion is that the quadrant looks fine to me.

    I don't think Nutanix belongs on that quadrant at all. Putting Nutanix on there would be like putting HP Converged Systems with StoreVirtual (which support KVM/Xen/VMware) on the quadrant.

    VMware is absolutely the leader today, maybe it won't be in 5-10 years who knows.. but this quote is quite telling of the market today - " Redmond's not winning customers away from Virtzilla, but is finding niches where an organization will prefer Hyper-V."

    Maybe EVO: RAIL isn't selling because people aren't sold on the concept. Or maybe because it's really expensive I don't know. I see a market for hyper convergence on the low end branch office type stuff, but not for serious workloads, not being able to scale storage independently from compute is a deal breaker for me. Even more, the complexity behind hyper convergence scares me. Not the complexity to the end user, but the complexity behind the scenes to make it all work right. Not so concerned at small scale, but at large scale - very concerning. My experience tells me to prepare for bugs that cause massive cascading failures across the system. My experience tells me storage is fragile, and keep it simple to keep it reliable.

    I see this quadrant covering a specific portion of the industry(the hypervisor, or container). Getting too broad in something that is supposed to be simple to understand just invites more confusion.

    For the business I work for it's pretty much all vmware, we have a few containers. No reason to consider any other tech at this point because what we have now works so well and has proven to be cost effective. Management is still surprised by how little we have to spend to support the revenue that comes in.

    1. Naselus

      Re: In the market for two years

      "I don't think Nutanix belongs on that quadrant at all. "

      Over the past few months, Trevor's become a wee bit obsessed with Nutanix. He brings them up at even the most marginal opportunities.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: In the market for two years

        Curious that you think that. Nutanix is rapidly becoming a big player in the storage and virtualization space. I write about the storage and virtualization space.

        Saying I talk about Nutanix too much is a bit like saying a writer covering Development brings up Github too often, or that someone covering consumer software talks about Dropbox too often.

        So, okay, maybe you don't like Nutanix. Fine, fair enough. But they're going to be around for a long, long time, and they're going to be pretty important for a long, long time. You'd better get used to hearing about them.

        Now, if your implication is that I somehow personally like Nutanix (or care about them/their success) you would be mistaken.

        And for the record: while VSAN is moving in modest volume, EVO:RAIL is not selling at all. It's dead. Done. Finito. Put a stake in it, VMware fucked that one up good.

        EVO:RACK has some chance of succeeding against the other traditional converged vendors, but EVO:RAIL is a great big red herring and a colossal failure.

        Nutanix is not. There is demand. They're selling quite well. And they are, without question, the leader. SimpliVity is a (distant) number two.

        You might not want to accept reality, but reality doesn't require your acknowledgement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In the market for two years

          Trevor: What are you basing your comment "They're selling quite well"? Can you cite specific sources to support this? It's common knowledge that Nutanix biggest customer (US Dept of Defense) accounts for the majority of their sales. Do you know how many actual unique customers they have? You might be surprised. Don't believe the PR hype.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: In the market for two years

            It's common knowledge that Nutanix biggest customer (US Dept of Defense) accounts for the majority of their sales.

            Common knowledge is out of date.

            And no, I can't cite my sources. Things told to me in confidence stay in confidence. And if you think I'm buying into the PR hype you don't know a damned thing about me.

            I am PR hype's antiparticle.

        2. Martin Maisey

          Re: In the market for two years

          Agree with Trevor here.

          Even cheap commodity servers have huge amounts of available CPU and RAM now, and for most workloads IO is the limit. It's abundantly clear to anyone with actual systems engineering knowledge that a technical approach that puts the processor on the same PCIe bus as the storage for read IOs while offering similar benefits to a traditional SAN for write workloads is going to offer dramatically better performance than one which requires going out over SAN or iSCSI. A single SATA flash drive can flood most FC HBAs or a fair number of 1GBe NICs for sequential IO. Given that a typical 2U modern server is going to be capable of housing a fair number of those, plus some really fast PCIe server flash, it will whip a virtualisation host + SAN based approach for all but the most write intensive workloads. Given the recent revelations from Intel regarding their new persistent RAM technology, I can only see this gap widening.

          The reason Trevor's been shouting about Nutanix is that they have a very clever technical approach and have managed to get real customers. This is a rare combo. VMware have responded aggressively with VSAN/EVO:RAIL etc and it will be an interesting fight. Microsoft will no doubt lumber onto the converged infrastructure train at some point and probably ultimately do quite a good job if a fair bit later than the leaders, if history is any guide.

          For what it's worth, I have absolutely no connection with any of the companies mentioned. I've not played with Nutanix or EVO, although I have read a fair number of white papers in detail.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "what it takes to get on Gartner's Magic Quadrant"

    I believe a certain amount of zeros on a cheque will do it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm probably not the first ...

    ... to observe that Gartner seems to have problems with both Vision and Ability to Execute Vision. Where's a Raspberry icon when you need it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm probably not the first ...

      They should rightly be called TRAGIC Quadrants for the pathetic analysis

  5. thames

    "and concerns about how positions are determined"

    It's simple. Just draw your diagram to support the status quo and then dream up reasons why it ought to be that way. Gartner customers don't want guidance on what they ought to do in future. They want weighty looking reports they can wave around in budget meetings to justify why they spent so much money on IT infrastructure last year for so little result.

    Gartner will start recommending Nutanix when most of their customers are already using Nutanix and are looking for justifications for that decisions.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I maybe completed wrong - but I assumed that most Nutanix workloads would run on vSphere or Hyper-V?

    Do you Nutanix have there own Hypervisor?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: anonymous

      "Do you Nutanix have there own Hypervisor?"

      Yes. See Register passim.


  7. mix
    Thumb Up

    love this

    "You might not want to accept reality, but reality doesn't require your acknowledgement."

    Must memorise that one. :)

  8. mcoblentz

    Magic Quadrants are just lead generation tools

    In some ways, I am not surprised that the MQ generates controversy. If the analyst firm gets paid by the inquiry, (or recognizes pre-paid amounts for each inquiry), then having an MQ that encourages people to call the analyst is a sure way to inspire cash flow.

    It's just a sales tool. For the analyst firm. Caveat Emptor.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Folks , pls ignore Gartner and their shallow understanding of IT. They stand exposed in their Tragic quadrants

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