The End of Big Infrastructure – Hello HyperGrid

Around mid-2012 when we officially launched Gridstore – I wrote my first blog entitled – The End of Big Storage. This disruptive idea became the main theme of my blog since that time. From that blog – “At the same time, I noticed a fundamentally disruptive trend. The very largest consumers of storage, companies such as Google, Amazon and others — were not buying storage from the large monolithic storage vendors — they were building their own storage platforms … they simply bypassed the storage industry altogether by tying commodity hardware components together into very scalable storage systems using very smart software.” This was the disruptive founding concept behind Gridstore.

According to a report, NetApp has lost almost half its value and EMC has barely tread water and is now in the process of disappearing into Dell. These declines took place during a period where the overall technology industry has seen very healthy real growth of almost 85% – 10X more than EMC and 20X more than NetApp.

That blog was written when we officially launched Gridstore around Sept 2012. It reflected my belief and experience at that time that a major disruption of the storage industry had started – and our role in its transformation.

Two years after this in Oct 2014 – we launched the industry’s first All-Flash Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. By consolidating the traditional layers of compute and storage into a single tier – we made a high performance All-Flash fabric affordable, scalable and we effectively eliminated the storage tier. The End of Big Storage. Since then, the Hyperconverged Infrastructure market has exploded growing at 68% CAGR according to Gartner.

Now, almost two years on – we are introducing HyperGrid – the next major transformation in the IT infrastructure industry. And since storage is done, we’re also changing our name to HyperGrid to better reflect where our company is going.

HyperGrid introduces three new elements that transforms the IT Infrastructure market as we know it and defines a new category we call Hyperconverged Infrastructure as a Service (HCIaaS).

  1. A Full HCI Stack with an Integrated Network Fabric and a single-pane of glass to manage everything. To date, Hyperconverged Infrastructure has been missing something – the network. HyperGrid completes the infrastructure stack with 10GbE network fabric. Rack and stack the equipment, connect the red cables, blue cables, green cables, power cables and click GO. In 5 minutes, a new infrastructure is ready to provision VMs or Containers. This delivers a complete Hyperconverged Infrastructure optimized from the ground. This is essential to delivering the next element.
  2. Infrastructure as a Service. Pricing that is truly elastic consumption based pricing per VM or Container. This is another industry first and highly disruptive to the major infrastructure vendors selling boxes of tin. This is not a leasing model or subscription based pricing like many vendors have tried with little success. This is true consumption based pricing like you get with AWS. On-demand pricing – scale up – pay more, scale down, pay less. Use it for a day, then shut it off. Reserved instance pricing – reserve resources for workloads that run over longer periods (months or years) and pay less per VM instance than On-demand pricing. Now, enterprises can enjoy the flexibility, agility, speed and superior cloud economics without having to leave their own data centers.
  3. Enterprise Cloud Fabric that puts the enterprise at the center of and in complete control of the Cloud. We are fortunate to be in the position to acquire DCHQ and combine this technology with our platform vision. This Enterprise Cloud Fabric enables DevOps style deployment of Containers and VMs for both new microservice based apps and traditional three tiered applications across any public cloud (20+ public clouds today) as well as private clouds hosted by partners or on-premise on HyperGrid infrastructure. This platform frees developers to utilize the tools they need to rapidly build apps from blueprints, package them into containers and deploy them in minutes to anywhere it makes sense to run that workload – while at the same time, the enterprise has complete governance, control and financial control over the infrastructure consumed as a service from any cloud environment. This Cloud Fabric essentially delivers Infrastructure as a Service where that infrastructure could come from anywhere it makes sense to the app developers and the enterprise.

HCIaaS is Major Transformation and a Game Changer.

While public cloud based IaaS from vendors like AWS, Azure and others is one of the fastest growing segments of the IT Infrastructure market (Gartner, 2016) – this growth has largely been led by developers building apps. Enterprises have been slow to deploy enterprise workloads due to vendor lock in, high costs, security and governance.

To date, public cloud has been a one-way trip where the customer becomes completely reliant on the service provider. What looks affordable up front with on-demand pricing, turns out to cost a lot more than buying the infrastructure directly and there are still a lot of questions around security, compliance and governance. For all the benefits of the Cloud, and there are many, enterprises have realized public cloud is not cheap, public cloud does suit every workload and they do not want to become locked in to a single large powerful vendor.

HyperGrid’s HCIaaS eliminates these barriers by putting the enterprise in complete control of the cloud. HyperGrid turns the cloud into a digital platform for the enterprise, not a destination with no return. HyperGrid promotes openness and flexibility to run your workloads where it makes sense – along many different dimensions from speed, agility, performance, reliability, security and financial. HyperGrid brings all the benefits of the cloud, and puts the enterprise at the center of it – with complete control and governance over how this digital platform is best utilized and consumed by the enterprise.

HyperGrids HCIaaS will take time to be fully rolled out. Today we are just taking the first step. The end game is the End of Big Infrastructure – traditional IT infrastructure sold as components for enterprises to turn into IT systems. Enterprises stopped building their own power systems a century ago – its time to do the same for IT. Over the next 24 mo, we will take additional steps with partners to create a truly elastic grid that spans the globe to power the digital enterprises of the future. Plug into the HyperGrid.

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