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A New Approach to DevOps and Hybrid Cloud: HCIaaS

Gridstore, a company that has made a name for itself over the past few years in the rapidly growing market of hyperconverged systems with an emphasis in Microsoft Hyper-V environments, is casting a wider net with the acquisition of DCHQ, a supplier of container-based orchestration tools. The newly combined company will now call itself HyperGrid, offering what it claims is the first hyperconverged computing as a service. The so-called HCIaaS consists of its hardware, public cloud services and container-based development, orchestration, deployment and management environment integrated and delivered with consumption-based pricing.

The new HyperGrid is aiming to make hyperconverged computing, which offers software-defined compute, storage and network control in tightly integrated systems with shared resources and common management for Web-scale applications requiring high availability. Gridstore has offered its appliances designed for Hyper-V environments for several years for operations requiring high availability such as VDI, but the market for hyperconverged gear has become highly competitive. Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo and Cisco all have released or are readying new hyperconverged systems. In addition to the major suppliers, Gridstore competes with a number of other startups including Nutanix, which has several OEM deals, a partnership with Microsoft to deliver its Cloud Platform System (CPS) and is seeking to go public.

The market for what Gartner calls hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) is expected to grow 79 percent to $2 billion this year, according to the market research firm and predicts the technology will be widely by enterprises and service providers within the next five years. While HCIS dwarfs the traditional hardware and storage markets in terms of size, the new technology is the fastest growing and over time is expected to cannibalize the current systems and storage market. Gartner is forecasting revenues of $5 billion for HCIS in 2019.

DCHQ offers development, orchestration, deployment and management of containerized software that works with emerging tools from the likes of Docker and Mesosphere as well as traditional virtual environments including Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, KVM, bare metal systems and OpenStack. HyperGrid will bundle the software with its hyperconverged systems, which will also include subscriptions to public clouds -- initially AWS with Azure and others to follow.

The software DCHQ provides allows developers to build and manage new cloud-native, SaaS-style apps as well as for the packaging of traditional apps into containers. Integrated with the Gridstore hardware the new HyperGrid believes offering the entire hardware, software and public cloud services bundled with consumption-based pricing will bring hyperconverged computing to organizations that otherwise can't afford it today.

HyperGrid Chairman and CEO Nariman Teymourian believes its business model allows the company to effectively offer usage-based hybrid cloud services with its hardware, software and public cloud service, all supplied and billed by HyperGrid based on an organization's entire consumption over a given month. For customers it promises to lower the cost of acquiring hyperconverged systems and software, Teymourian said. HyperGrid can offer this consumption-based pricing because the company doesn't have to concern itself with cannibalizing an existing commodity hardware business, he said. Teymourian said he would know, having managed the hyperconverged systems business of HPE prior to its divesture from HP. Before that he was an executive at Dell.

"Customers don't want to buy, they just want to rent it," Teymourian said. "They want it as services and to be able to use it when they need it just like they do with AWS."

HyperGrid will offer its services, initially with the ability to scale out to AWS, with other popular cloud services in the pipeline in the coming months including Azure, Digital Ocean and OpenStack, Teymourian said.

"We can provide an AWS-like experience that you can control in datacenter or through a service provider and have it consumed as an AWS-like feature but at a significantly reduced cost."

Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Terri McClure said the major hardware providers all offer sophisticated financing and consumption-based packages but HyperGrid's approach lends itself to organizations looking for a complete DevOps-based hybrid cloud offering. "This could help to bridge the gap between the development and the operations groups when it comes to DevOps," she said. "HyperGrid is doing this with a bridge to the cloud so they don't have to put as much capacity on-premises."

A Dell official said the company offers cloud offerings supported by consumption-based pricing plus "other creative financing offers from Dell Financial Services. We offer this through a portfolio of Scale Ready Payment Solutions, designed to enable customer adoption of cloud solutions wherever they are on their cloud journey. The programs include Scale On Demand, Pay as you Grow and Provision and Pay, as well as its Cloud Flex Pay, which lets customers evaluate its DCHS gear for several months."

Time will tell whether HCIaaS sticks to the list of "as-a-service" buzzwords.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/25/2016 at 12:32 PM


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