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Three insights on how to make better product selections for the datacenter

Chris Purcell

I like an online buying experience because it gives me a ton of choices that I typically would not find in local department stores -- all without leaving the comfort of my home. Of course more choices makes it harder for me to make a decision. This indecision slows down the buying process, thereby extending the time it takes me to make a final purchase. This scenario reminds me of the recent commercial on the TV where the wife asks the husband “Have you purchased it yet?” He replies, “Not yet…it’s difficult!”

Some online stores attempt to make your decision easier by giving you current data on what others have purchased – some helpful retailers even go as far as telling you what others have bought with that particular item. I am not a big researcher, as I feel like it adds more time. Yet, I do like reading how past buyers rate their purchase and their experience with it. These reviews help ensure that I get the right item for what I need.

I wish this were the case for larger solutions that we build in the data center. Okay… I admit this comparison is not quite apples to apples. Data center solutions are a lot more complex, and I need assurance that all the infrastructure is architected to work together. This is the type of work that a solution architect researches and builds out. Yet, the challenge is still the same…how do I ensure that I am buying the best gear to fit the solution I am building out? Once I get to a certain point in the design, it’s time to call in the pre-sales vendor teams for more solution insights…or is it?

Insight #1

1 quadrant.png


Late last year, Gartner published the Integrated Systems Magic quadrant, which did a great job of ranking all the different vendors in 4 quadrants: Challengers, Niche Players, Visionaries and Leaders. This report is a useful guide for businesses to see how different vendors are performing against each other. It is the third publication of its kind, and if you are like me, you’ll find it interesting to see the progress different vendors have made traversing from a relatively new introduction of hyperconverged infrastructure.

But that’s really only half the story. Going back to my retailer example above, the Magic Quadrant is really just serving as the “online” catalog and providing choices. Where’s the customer feedback section that provides some insightful data on what’s working and what’s not? So my first insight to someone seeking a hyperconverged solution for your data center is to go beyond just reviewing Gartner’s Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant.

Insight #2

CC.PNGThis brings me to Insight #2 – make sure to read the Gartner’s second publication:  the Critical Capabilities Report for Integrated Systems. This detailed report compliments the Magic Quadrant as it serves to the guides businesses as to key issues to pay attention to  when scoping out solutions. Although the Magic Quadrant report is useful, the Critical Capabilities Report provides a more in-depth view that is extremely beneficial.

The fifteen critical capabilities included in the report are as follows: product viability, hardware, baseline criteria, hypervisors, containers, data services, software-defined infrastructure, stack integration, management, vertical scaling, horizontal scaling, data protection, software-defined data center, security, service and support. All of which are structured around four use cases:

  • Infrastructure modernization
  • Infrastructure consolidation
  • Infrastructure agility
  • Points projects

Insight #3Peer review.PNG

I almost forgot, if you want to keep it independent and just Gartner focus, this link to the Gartner Peer Insights Integrated System is useful as you can read comments directly from customers.

If you are looking for an independent review of Integrated Systems so you can gather more insightful information, you don’t need to look too much further than these two reports and the peer review from Gartner. For additional insights, check out the two previous posts I have written on this subject.

HPE advances in the “Leaders” Quadrant in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems

Facts and figures behind HPE’s Leader Ranking in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems

Here’s a link if you are interested in finding out more information on HPE’s integrated Systems.


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About the Author

Chris Purcell

Composable Infrastructure, Integrated and Multi-Cloud management, Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Cloud