Quadrant Saga and HPE Storage

    Gartner’s authoritative analytics in the IT industry is perceived even by those who do not trust marketing applications at all. This is especially true for reports in the Magic Quadrant format, which allow you to understand at a glance what is happening in the corresponding segment of the IT industry. Let's take a look at recent publications on storage systems and on evaluations of HPE offerings, in particular 3PAR and Nimble Storage with its InfoSight analytic platform.

    Let's start with the latest Magic Quadrant for General-Purpose Disk Arrays, published October 31, 2017. It is publicly available on the Gartner website , and this is the case when a picture is worth a thousand words (which are also in the document and describe each vendor separately).

    HPE products (in this case, it is mainly about 3PAR and Nimble Storage, which is sold in Russia from November 1, 2017) are not just located in the quadrant of leaders. They occupy the absolute first place in the market according to Gartner analysts. The best position in the quadrant is in the upper right corner, and it means that the manufacturer outperforms its competitors both in the characteristics of its products (Completeness of Vision, horizontal axis) and in its ability to convey the developed technologies to consumers at an adequate price (Ability to Execute , vertical axis). Thus, Gartner considers the results of the team of development engineers and sellers HPE the best in the world.

    An important distinguishing feature of Nimble Storage products, ac January 2018 and HPE 3PAR, is the InfoSight cloud service system, which we wrote about earlier . According to IDC, InfoSight is an industry-leading predictive IT analytics platform with an NPS 85 product quality index (Net Promoter Score can range from -100 to +100, average for the storage industry 15), and a copy for others by manufacturers.

    November 21 announced support for the first version of InfoSight since 2018 for new and existing HPE 3PAR StoreServ arrays with 3PAR OS 3.3.1 operating system. All storage systems, starting with the 3PAR StoreServ 7000 family of supported systems, will get access to InfoSight for free and automatically.

    The first version of HPE InfoSight for HPE 3PAR arrays has the following features:

    • VM stack analysis. Allows system administrators to identify root causes of performance problems for virtual machines that use HPE 3PAR storage systems. This feature also allows you to detect “noisy” virtual machines that create problems for other storage workloads.
    • Global visualization. New portal for visualizing trends in performance, capacity and bandwidth of 3PAR arrays.
    • Base for predictive support. Creating basic modules for detecting hardware problems and software errors, and automating the transfer of service cases to system software developers without the need for interaction with the first level of support by phone and email.

    You can learn more about InfoSight and the Nimble Storage portfolio at the webinar that will be held today and will be available on record.

    Another Gartner magic quadrant was published on July 13, 2017, and is dedicated to arrays entirely built on the basis of flash memory. In this quadrant, HPE is also a leader. Although this is not an absolute first place, but pay attention - Hewlett Packard Enterprise products are the same, 3PAR and Nimble Storage. Unlike other manufacturers, HPE provides full technological compatibility of hybrid arrays and all-flash systems within the Nimble Storage and 3PAR families.

    The position of the vendors in this quadrant raises many questions. For example, why is the Dell EMC located higher than HPE in this quadrant along the Ability to Execute axis compared to the Magic Quadrant for General-Purpose Disk Arrays? Nimble and 3PAR technology are the same, pricing, marketing and customer service are the same. Estimates are different. Along the Completeness of Vision ”axis, Dell EMC and HPE are almost on the same level. However, in the description, Gartner mentions the problems of the Dell EMC portfolio of solutions:

    • Repositioning XtremIO from the main universal solid-state array to niche players in the VDI market;
    • DSSD flagship product cessation of sales;
    • Repainting arrays of traditional architecture in all-flash;
    • Incompatibility of technology and management tools;

    Nevertheless, no conclusions are drawn for the position of the vendor in the leader quadrant.
    In the case of the position of Pure is still more complicated. Together with the magic quadrant, Gartner released the document “Critical Capabilities for Solid-State Arrays”. In all five storage system usage scenarios (transaction processing, server virtualization, desktop virtualization, high-performance computing, analytics), Nimble Storage arrays received significantly higher grades than Pure Storage counterparts, and 3PAR yielded Pure only in the VDI nomination.

    MQ wins and high market shares show that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has chosen the right strategy for the storage industry. Instead of holding dozens of different hardware platforms in its portfolio aimed at the same segments, HPE aims to focus on compatibility and strong offerings in each market segment. Extending InfoSight from the Nimble Storage line to HPE 3PAR arrays is an example of synergy from acquisitions where 1 + 1 = 3.

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