back to article Hyperconverged leapfrog: Dell EMC borg overtakes Nutanix

Dell EMC overtook Nutanix to become the leading hyper-converged infrastructure appliance shipper in 2017’s first quarter. Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers delved into IDC’s non-public numbers and revealed that Nutanix has a 23.3 per cent revenue market share whereas Dell EMC had 24 per cent. The numbers for the top vendors were …

  1. chrismevans

    What about the others?

    I'm not sure I understand the point of a graph where the "others" section, which is equivalent to the top 2 (around 40%) isn't delved into in more detail. So only 60% of the data in this chart is relevant? The other 40% we can happily ignore?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the others?

      This ets even worse when you consider that we know that cisco has shipped more units than Nutanix (not considering Nutanix units shipped by Dell). In other words, 25 of those 40% are Cisco which puts them somewhere in the top three.

      These, ahem, analysts completely ignored one of the big 3 server vendors. This report is shoddy work. Chris Melior, you should know better.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Experience firsthand

    We are a small outfit getting ready for a refresh and Dell/Emc are in our list.

    Would love to know if anyone has any first hand experience most notably the negative points.

    Cheers

    1. tmurfet

      Re: Experience firsthand

      Yes, I have experience and first hand. Both vendors sell solid products, each will compete against the other aggressively on price, if the deal is worth their effort. Nutanix provides superior support for their product by a country mile. Dell-EMC are often the incumbent and so for Nutanix to win a client away from Dell-EMC can be seen as significant. It happens enough for them to have become the market leader. They are certainly the innovator out of the two. For me, it's about not having to pay the VMware or Veeam tax. Yes, I've become biased through many years of dealing with Dell. Nutanix are not cheap - it's sometimes hard to show that yes, they offer better value. Peace of mind certainly has value but not easily quantified. There's a lot of evangelism and fervor out there on both sides. It's complicated. My advice? Build a lab system, get to know the products, Nutanix will let you do that for the price of an Intel NUC and some NVMe storage. Worth the trip.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Experience firsthand

        Thanks, what were you running Nutanix on, a Dell XC platform or something else ?

        We are already a VMWare house, HP Servers + Storage, did/do you get the feeling that moving to VXRails would become a complete lock-in and do you have to deal with Dell support. In the past we have had Gold Support and they were always pretty damned good ( unlike like their standard support which is a nightmare).

        HP don't have anything to offer that we can afford and for the moment we do not have any in-house hyperconvergeance expertise.... We will get some but it's not easy determining the correct platform for our needs up front.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sprained my eardrum!

          Nutanix is the only HCI player that allows more than 8 nodes in a cluster: All other solutions run exclusively on VMware and are, for some odd reason. limited to 8 nodes. Unsure why. They may brag that they can support more, but ask to speak with a customer. They have none.

          Nutanix has been doing HCI for 8 years. Everybody else has been doing it for less than a year.

          Oh, all those products referenced from EMC as being HCI are not; they are all converged, but not hyperconverged. Converged architecture is no different than legacy 3-tier. So, they really shouldn't be including those numbers in their figures. It's all legacy stuff. So, this report is questionable at best.

          Oh, I'm a Nutanix employee but not authorized to speak for the company.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sprained my eardrum!

            Not sure about vSAN (I think they can do well above 8 nodes). Cisco does 64 nodes and supports Intel Purley with densities beyond 200 VMs per node.

            You might want to check your competitive info notes.

            1. Ken-in-Houston

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              Cisco is not hyperconverged - unless you are referring to their hyperflex story? Oh, yeah, that doesn't scale beyond 8 nodes! I appreciate you questioning me, but you need to get a better education. I know my business back and forth.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sprained my eardrum!

                HyperFlex does 32 nodes in 2.1 and 64 in 2.5 which is out in a few weeks. Also, they have Intel v5, Nvidia and AMD GPUs, as well as NVMe. You are embarrassing yourself.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sprained my eardrum!

            You lose all credibility with such poor information. VxRail, and any VSAN based HCI for that matter, can support 64 nodes in one cluster, and if rumors are true, soon to be 128.

            In my opinion, if I'm looking at HCI and I'm a VMWare customer, then the logical starting point is VxRail, as there's no other solution that is more integrated between the hardware and hypervisor.

            If you're not a VMWare shop, then VxRail is off the table, and I'm probably starting with Nutanix.

            Simplivity was a flawed product even before the HP acquisition, and if they follow the same path as everything else HP acquires...destined to die on the vine.

            Hyperflex has a lot of units out there because Cisco up until the end of last year bundled it in with all their high margin USC deals. When they started making the reps actually sell it...those reps goaled on it left in droves. Quite frankly unless you're buying because of the Cisco name, there's really nothing special about it, and it has the most limitations of the major HCI appliances out there. Not to mention taking up the most rack space.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              You lose all credibility. Cisco reps leaving because of missed HyperFlex goals? There are no HyperFlex goals for technologies. Cisco reps are goaled on product and services across all business units.

              Man, HyperFlex sure scares you. So much FUD.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              "There is really nothing special about it"

              Yes, that's what EMC said about Pure, too. Nothing special about it except five times the performance for half the price while on enterprise class servers instead of Supermicro boxes. HyperFlex is beating you silly on performance and it's just a matter of time until people catch up.

              How long can you hide the fact that you are TEN times slower? Cisco is about to double their performance -again- and there is deafening chatter at Cisco Live about some crazy stuff coming for UCS and HyperFlex. I've seen SQL and Oracle performance numbers that defy gravity. What have you got?

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sprained my eardrum!

                Cisco is about to leave the game people. Trust me.

                Cisco's business paradigm requires them to make 30 pts minimum. They are barely making 10 pts on their server sales (it's probably less). Their solution to the problem was to introduce a software solution (HCI) and make up for the shortage of profit there. However, their current HCI offering has been determined to be a complete failure. This is why their sales reps are leaving, and why some are actually approaching Nutanix to sell Nutanix atop UCS.

                Trust me. In less than a year, Hyperflex will be EOL'd. I guarantee it. They can't afford to continue hemorrhaging that much money.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              I stick with my original assertion because I know what I'm talking about: No HCI solution can scale beyond 8 nodes except Nutanix. Not even any of their (EMC, Cisco, HP, etc.) marketing says they can scale to VMware's maximum cluster size of 64 hosts.

              Get your knowledge straight: Just because VMware's maximum cluster size is 64 hosts doesn't mean HCI products based on it can scale that high. ALL OTHER SOLUTIONS IN THE MARKET WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NUTANIX CANNOT SCALE BEYOND 8 NODES. It's an architecture issue. Nutanix owns the IP on how to scale to the hypervisors' limits (ESXi = 64, Hyper-V = 32-ish, KVM = infinite).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sprained my eardrum!

                You're correct, there are limitations to how HCI solutions scale. For example, Cisco HyperFlex is limited to only 8 nodes. However there are a number of solutions that scale well beyond 8 nodes. See the documentation below for accurate scaling information:

                VxRail (64 nodes) https://www.emc.com/collateral/specification-sheet/vxrail-4.0-spec-sheet.pdf

                vSAN (64 nodes) https://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere6/r65/vsphere-65-configuration-maximums.pdf

                ScaleIO (1024 nodes) https://www.emc.com/collateral/specification-sheet/h15406-scaleio-ready-node-ss.pdf

                HPE HC (16 nodes or 32 nodes under manual management) https://www.hpe.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/c04622598.pdf

                Pivot3 (12 nodes) http://pivot3.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Datasheet-Pivot3-Surv.-Series-Data.pdf

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              Why would you say Simplivity is a flawed product?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sprained my eardrum!

            Nutanix is known to choke at scale for enterprises. Without giving anything away, I recall one of the largest retailers in the world throwing Nutanix out after it couldn't scale past 12 nodes (after giving Nutanix every opportunity to fix it).

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sprained my eardrum!

            I have multiple VSAN customers with more than 8 nodes.

            Stop drinking your Nutanix sales training Kool-Aid mate. You'd think that for the amount they charge you'd have better intelligence on the competition.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sprained my eardrum!

              No you don't.

          5. DeepStorage

            Do some homework

            You say you're a Nutanix employee and therefore have a responsibiilty to check your facts about other vendors.

            You say "Nutanix is the only HCI player that allows more than 8 nodes in a cluster: All other solutions run exclusively on VMware and are, for some odd reason. limited to 8 nodes. Unsure why. " The spec sheets say different. That you haven't seen a 16 node VSAN cluster is very different than you can't build one.

            You then claim "Oh, all those products referenced from EMC as being HCI are not; they are all converged, but not hyperconverged" as if IDC had included VBLOCK and VxBLOCK in thier numbers. The article clearly lists VxRAIL (For sure HCI), VxRack (could argualbly be dis-aggrigated SDS for some customers and VSAN+ Ready nodes (also for sure HCI).

            Blow your FUD elsewhere.

            I'm an independent analyst that's worked for both Dell/EMC and Nutanix. I got no dog in this fight.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do some homework

              Hhhhmmm, you used to work for Dell, EMC, and Nutanix? And now you don't? I wonder why? Perhaps because you are not very good at what you do. "Independent analyst": Isn't that a euphemism for being unemployed?

              1. DeepStorage

                Re: Do some homework

                Oh, so it's time for insults? No Independent Analyst isn't code for unemployed. I have never been an employee of any storage vendor (I did own a company that made disk subsystems in the '80s) companies, including your employer, pay me for my opinions and services.

                I put my real name on everything I post. I have a reputation to maintain. If you haven't heard of me please ask Dheeraj who I am, and apologize to him again for me for my brain-fart at not reckognizing him at DellEMCworld. He knows who I am, and what I do.

                Since your last post I've texted or spoken to several vSAN customers running multiple clusters of over eight nodes proving your statement that it's not possible wrong.

                Spreading falsehoods and FUD by folks like you is not good for Nutanix. Cut it out and behave.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Experience firsthand

          Simple, if you want to stay with VMware, go VxRail, if not, go Nutanix XC. We got some of both because of the VMware tax and needing to run HyperV on a few boxen. You really can't lose with either one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Experience firsthand

        This post is so obviously written by Nutanix, it's embarrassing.

        What is a Veeam tax? You have started grasping for straws. Veeam is so cheap and good, there is no price argument.

        If however, you are company that implements some basic backup features into their overpriced marketing fluff product, yeah, then you have to come up with ridiculous statements like those to justify why I should pay handsomely for barely modified open source software that wasn't innovated since 1997.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Experience firsthand

          Never heard of a "veeam tax", but there is a "vmware tax". I think the poster got confused. All other hypervisors are free, but VMware charges for theirs. So, yes, a "vmware tax" does exist.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Experience firsthand

        yeah, but people run vmware for valid reasons, so saying that Nutanix removes the vmware tax is a stretch at best.

        Mind and market share aside, unless you really are going to derive value from HCI, it's actually a waste of money: you're just paying a premium for something that could be built for significantly lower costs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Experience firsthand

      It's ok if you are ok with VSAN's lack of performance. We picked Cisco HyperFlex and it killed Nutanix and VxRail during the bake off.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Experience firsthand

      EMC specifically notes that their solution is for remote office or SMB only. There are a multitude of reasons for this including it cannot scale beyond eight nodes. Also, it only supports VMware ESXi hypervisor. So, if you do not want vendor lock-in, and you think you might grow in the future (very likely for most of us), then I suggest you look at Nutanix, or Nutanix on Dell (their XC platform).

      1. Lost_Signal

        Re: Experience firsthand

        Disclaimer VMware employe, posts are my own blah blah blah.

        EMC could say what they wanted but that hasn't been a VMware position since the 2nd release of the product (on the 6th version now!).

        EMC leadership has publicly admitted they got position wrong (Likely while they blew out their sales quota's for VxRAIL last year).

        Chad Sacak's clears the air by saying...

        We totally got the initial positioning wrong. We thought of HCI Appliances like VxRail as “SMB/Robo/Enterprise Edge” and HCI Rack Scale systems with network/SDN in scope as “Data Center”. This is a bit of a “legacy” way to think, and we got schooled pretty quickly by the customers and the market.

        http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2017/02/happy-birthday-vxrail-what-a-year-one.html

        Market positioning changes, and what customers want always wins out. I have to give Chad respect for admitting that the positioning was off, and Dell-EMC like any company follows the customers...

      2. Michael Duke

        Re: Experience firsthand

        As a DellEMC Solution Architect in the Distribution Channel in the ANZ region I can categorically state that VXRail is *NOT* limited to 8 or 12 nodes.

        Also the support for VXRail is *NOT* Dell standard or even Dell ProSupport but is instead supported by the VCE support organisation which also supports vBlock/vxBlock/vxRack.

        BTW unlike a lot of you on here not hiding behind AC, happy to post and be held accountable for my posts.

        I am the first to accept that VXRail is not perfect, but in a VMWare shop who want to lower their OPEX costs and free resources for future projects VXRail is hard to beat.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No IBM or Lenovo? Not surprised. IBM has sacked staff and contractors to the point that there are more Chiefs than Indians, and those Chiefs won't be answering any Tech Support Calls.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft

    Amazing that Microsoft has no representation: zero interest in pursuing this very active and fast growing space?

    1. baspax

      Re: Microsoft

      They actually do. Storage Spaces Direct (not to be mistaken with Storage Spaces or Storage Server) is their SDS product and it looks to be pretty solid in terms of performance. However, data services seem to be lacking and it will be of course a pure MS play.

      Still, might be a good option if all you need is to provide your Hyper-V cluster shared storage with local SSD and SAS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft

      Well, M$ sort of has a dog in the hunt: Storage Spaces.

      It will never be successful though, and here's why:

      - It only supports Hyper-V last I checked. Most people are looking to use a different hypervisor.

      - It is free. As such, no resellers will sell it because they can't make money on it.

      - I've heard issues about functionality (or the lack thereof) but cannot attest to those first-hand.

      - Oh, and I almost forgot, M$ isn't selling it (their teams do not push it, either). In order for a product to be successful, it must have the backing of a business unit (BU). This product doesn't.

  5. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Jargon Lovers!

    For those not up on this particular buzzword:

    Hyper-convergence (hyperconvergence) is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor.

  6. nilfs2
    FAIL

    I like Nutanix, BUT...

    ...it is too darn expensive without a valid reason, they sell open source software and cheap SuperMicro kit, they must have a huge margin on their product, price is ALWAYS the problem when trying to sell Nutanix in our company (I work for a Nutanix reseller), the value added they offer over the competition is not enough to justify the 50%+ price premium.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

      Yet they lose $100m a quarter

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

        ...and the more they sell, the more they lose.

        Still, they will probably make it up on volume?

        /coat/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

          Yes, they are great at selling a dollar for 50 cents! Man, why didn't I think of it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

            Sure they are losing 50 cents on the dollar but they make it up on volume!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

          I'll think of you all when I'm counting my money from the IPO. Oh, wait a second. No, I won't. I'll just be having a good time while you are still working.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

            Attitude and comments like this one confirm what many knew for quite a while, among all the douchebags in Silicon Valley Nutanix folks are the biggest assholes and obnoxious dudebros. By far.

            Lying, exaggeration, falsifying stats, and rabid misogyny are just a few indicators pointing to a catastrophic culture. It's no surprise though, your CEO is a piece of work to put it mildly. No wonder the brains behind your data platform left and founded Cohesity. All you are left is aggressive marketing and false claims.

      2. nilfs2
        WTF?

        Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

        How do they manage to lose money charging such a premium for cheap hardware and software?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

          Well they have to pay all of those internet shills for their astroturfing you know!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like Nutanix, BUT...

      If you cannot sell Nutanix but on price, then you are doing it wrong. Why do you think EMC has been so successful and yet their products have consistently been the highest priced options on the market? Because they know how to sell value.

      If you are still trying to sell on price then you just don't get it and you've already lost. Or, you are in the wrong industry: Very small SMB aren't usually worth the time.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell Technologies (D+E+V)

    So... roughly ~31% from Dell and family?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dell Technologies (D+E+V)

      It's kind of funny: Most of Dell's revenue on HCI comes from sales of Nutanix, but Nutanix doesn't get credit for it? Go figure.

      Last I heard, of Dell's HCI sales, 70% were Nutanix, the rest were vxrack/vxrail. All their other products aren't HCI.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dell Technologies (D+E+V)

        Not true post acquisition. VxRail sales are higher in volume and $ than XC.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did anyone else notice

    Firstly, I work for Nutanix. (so am bracing for some grief for posting)

    Did anyone else notice that the table shows VMWare's revenue at 45 million but the graph shows them at 150ish?

    Just curious which one it is.

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