IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Vox Channeli: Hyperconverged Infrastructure is More Than Just Hype With Channel Pros

Maybe all those vendors investing big in HCI are on to something. Data from our latest reader survey suggests that close to half of the SMB channel sells hypconverged infrastructure now or plans to soon. By Rich Freeman

Anyone wondering just how hot the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market is right now got 650 million answers a couple of weeks ago. That’s one for each dollar Hewlett Packard Enterprise spent to acquire SimpliVity, a leader in software for combining compute, virtualization, networking, and storage in one tight, integrated package.

And HPE—which shipped a hyperconverged system specifically for SMBs last spring—is hardly the only major hardware vendor going big on HCI right now. Dell announced a new series of hyperconverged appliances for hosting Citrix virtual desktops a few weeks back, and Lenovo launched a whole new family of converged and hyperconverged products called ThinkAgile in October.

No wonder, too. Sales of hyperconverged infrastructure systems leaped 104.3 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2016, the most recent for which data is available, according to IDC. HPE itself, meanwhile, estimates that the global HCI market will grow at a 25 percent CAGR through 2020 to nearly $6 billion.

But here at ChannelPro we never really believe a market is hot until you, our readers, weigh in on the matter, so we decided to ask you about HCI in our latest opinion survey. After filtering out people who don’t sell server, storage, and networking infrastructure, and therefore couldn’t possibly by hyperconverged infrastructure resellers, we discovered the following:

Vox Channeli: Hyperconverged Infrastructure is More Than Just Hype With Channel Pros
Yowza! Over 47 percent of you sell hyperconverged infrastructure solutions now or plan to soon, and just a hair under 39 percent of you are thinking about following suit. That leaves just 13.9 percent of you with no interest in the product category.

Who though, one wonders, is likely to be most and least enthusiastic about selling HCI offerings? We were curious to measure the degree to which customer size factors into the answer, so we asked about that too. First, here’s a look at how all the potential hyperconverged infrastructure resellers in our poll break out by that variable:

Vox Channeli: Hyperconverged Infrastructure is More Than Just Hype With Channel Pros
A little under 59 percent of the sample works solidly in the “S” portion of the SMB segment, where average customer size is 50 users or fewer.

Yet when we crunched the numbers a little further, we found the 50-or-fewer user crowd underrepresented among the most committed HCI resellers and overrepresented among the least committed. Indeed, while 47 percent of readers who sell hyperconverged infrastructure now or plan to soon focus on smaller customers, fully 68 percent of poll respondents who have no intention of selling HCI or are merely thinking about doing so fit in that category.

Which is perhaps not such a shocking result, come to think of it. Those of you without a lot of customer infrastructure to hyperconverge, it seems, are less likely to appreciate what all the hyperconverged infrastructure fuss is all about.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Senior News Editor