The Rise of Hyperconvergence and Composable Infrastructure Threatens Public Cloud’s Dominance

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By Paul Miller, HPE Vice President of Marketing, Software-defined and Cloud Group

2006 was an important year in the annals of cloud computing history. In the spring of 2006, just about 11 years ago, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services, known more commonly as AWS. Initially built to support Amazon's internal infrastructure, AWS was then made available as a public cloud platform. Its two main services were Amazon Simple Storage Service, dubbed S3 for short, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as EC2.

Today, AWS is ubiquitous. With solutions spanning networking, storage, and content delivery, compute and application services, among others, AWS is widely accepted as the default public cloud provider.

AWS did more than introduce a technological innovation; it introduced the cloud business model, marked by three key tenets:

  1. Self-service provisioning where users pick and choose from a catalog of services and instantly activate the ones they need
  2. Elastic infrastructure with capacity that scales up or down based on demand
  3. Service-driven operating model with support, billing, and metering all baked into the solution.

This cloud-driven model enabled the agility, elasticity, and the competitive advantage that many traditional IT infrastructure models were lacking. Although cloud remains appealing for these reasons, the truth is that public clouds such as AWS are, in many cases, non-starters for many businesses — due to the regulatory, security, performance, and control drawbacks.

Using more modern approaches to IT infrastructure such as hyperconvergence or composable infrastructure, businesses can experience customized service offerings that provide the self-provisioning, elastic capacity, and service-driven benefits of a cloud model, with greater control and assurances over security and geo-location of data. And these new technologies often come with a lower total cost of ownership, as outlined in a 451 Research 2016 report.

As one of the fastest growing segments in the $107B IT infrastructure market, hyperconvergence provides an opportunity to bridge the IT-innovation gap. Based on the same design principles that inspired Amazon’s cloud – software-defined, scale-out, running on commodity hardware – hyperconverged infrastructure uses a software-defined approach to converge all IT infrastructure and data services for virtualized workloads.

Composable infrastructure consists of fluid pools of compute, storage, and fabric that can dynamically self-assemble to meet the needs of an application or workload. These resources are defined in software and controlled programmatically through a unified API, thereby transforming infrastructure into a single line of code that is optimized to the needs of the application.

Because composable infrastructure is so simple to deploy and easy to use, it removes many of the drawbacks you would traditionally encounter when deploying on-premises hardware. The end result is better performance at lower costs within your own data center.

In the past, building a private cloud may have been difficult, but with today’s new hyperconverged and composable infrastructure, it has never been easier. You can have all of the benefits of public cloud –- benefits such as simple integrations, subscription payment models and elastic capacity — in your own datacenter.

Ultimately, AWS brought much-needed speed, agility, and cost savings to IT. And 11 years later, it is still a valid option for specific workloads. But these qualities alone are no longer enough, and its limitations have become apparent as new technologies such as hyperconverged and composable infrastructure have come to market. As AWS enters its next decade, its dominance will be threatened by the rise of hybrid models such as HPE SimpliVity's hyperconverged and HPE Synergy’s composable infrastructure. AWS and other cloud providers will go head-to-head with players with technologies that can deliver that same speed, agility, and cost savings...without the tradeoffs.

To learn more about HPE Synergy, check out: HPE Synergy for Dummies. And to learn about how hyperconvergence can help simplify IT, download the free eBook.