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Maxta Commissions 451 Research to Conduct Midmarket Survey Revealing Strong Interest in Hyper-Convergence and Software-Defined Storage

Maxta, a leader in hyper-convergence and software-defined storage, today released results of an independent study conducted by 451 Research of IT purchasers in midmarket companies. A few hundred companies with annual revenues of $100 million to $1 billion were surveyed. The survey, sponsored by Maxta and Intel, revealed a strong interest in deploying Software-Defined Storage (SDS), with 96% of respondents stating that they were "somewhat or very likely" to adopt SDS and 82% stating they were "somewhat or very likely" to adopt a hyper-converged infrastructure. Midmarket storage management problems, often similar to those of larger enterprises, were seen in the survey, amplified by the need for simplification of IT management. These challenges were compounded by additional difficulties in finding staff to maintain complex storage infrastructures. The research findings also confirmed that midmarket companies are very willing to take on new technologies that will help them with the vexing problem of exponential storage growth.

Survey Highlights Software-Defined Storage

Midmarket companies are showing strong adoption of server virtualization solutions, with a strong interest in SDS solutions. Simplifying storage infrastructure management is seen as a major driver, with VM-level management seen as one of the most appealing features, followed by improving data protection, data integrity and scalability. CAPEX savings have not been a driving factor.

  • 96 percent of respondents are aware of SDS, with 71 percent of respondents stating they were "somewhat likely" to consider deploying SDS, while 25 percent said they were "very likely."
  • 77 percent of companies surveyed indicated that 50 percent or more of their servers are already virtualized.  
  • Given the strong rate of adoption of virtualized servers, it is not surprising that 52 percent of respondents cite simplification of storage management as the key consideration to move to SDS, with 61 percent stating VM-level storage management as the main appeal to move to SDS. High-level skill sets needed to manage complex storage (35 percent), followed closely by the complexity itself (35 percent) were noted as top challenges.
  • 53 percent seek compression and a consistent interest was displayed in enterprise-class data services such as thin provisioning, tiering, de-duplication, snapshots and cloning.
  • 40 percent seek to improve their data protection policies with SDS and 35 percent cite SDS snapshots and cloning as a motivator to SDS.
  • Maintaining data integrity across different systems was a challenge for 46 percent, with scalability being highlighted by 41 percent as a motivator to move to SDS.
  • 53 percent of respondents want the ability to support mixed drive types – server side, SSD, spinning disk, indicating broad use case and workload interest.
  • Somewhat surprising was that only 16 percent of respondents selected price (CAPEX) or the ability to deploy on less expensive commodity x86 hardware as a significant benefit of SDS solutions.

Survey Highlights Hyper-Convergence
Respondents' interest in hyper-convergence appears to be driven by the reduction of operating expenses which many would find synonymous with the simplification of IT management. Half of the respondents cited that cost savings would be part of their evaluation consideration. Compatibility and configuration also made the list of concerns validating the need for reference architectures and ordering simplicity. Maxta has seen strong interest in MaxDeploy™ reference architectures, which provide pre-configured and pre-validated solutions that can run on any x86 server platform, with recent evaluators of hyper-converged solutions expressing strong interest in MaxDeploy running on both Intel and Supermicro servers. These solutions provide organizations greater than 30% savings over a hyper-converged solution running on branded server platforms and greater than 55% savings compared to an appliance-based hyper-converged architecture.

  • 87 percent of respondents were aware of hyper-convergence, with 82 percent of respondents stating they were "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to consider a hyper-converged infrastructure; 36 percent of those aware of hyper-convergence stated they were unclear of the total benefits and/or full meaning of hyper-convergence, indicating that an improved understanding could increase results to be more consistent with the SDS findings.
  • 62 percent state simplification of IT infrastructure as a key motivator to consider hyper-convergence.
  • More than SDS at 35 percent, 52 percent of respondents are seeking to reduce management and operational costs with hyper-convergence. 50 percent stated they would want to see a cost savings use case as part of their evaluation process.       
  • 29 percent shared some concern about compatibility and configuration along with 42 percent requiring a demo as part of the evaluation process. Results indicate a need for pre-configured systems and validated reference architectures.
  • Fueling the debate of whether hyper-convergence is a virtualization or storage purchase, 37 percent would evaluate hyper-convergence in the same way they evaluated server virtualization and 28 percent in the same way they would evaluate a storage array.
Published Thursday, November 13, 2014 1:48 PM by David Marshall
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