13 Powerful Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions

The Baker's Dozen

The hyper-converged infrastructure appliance market has moved into hyper-speed with an increasing number of vendors entering the competition. This is especially true since VMware released its EVO: RAIL software stack, a move which allows almost any server or storage vendor to develop its own offering.

Analyst firm IDC in a late 2014 report said it considers hyper-converged infrastructure to be a fast-growing, fast-changing emerging market. "IDC expects that market forces such (as) fierce competition and buyer demand will accelerate the metamorphosis of this market into a mature market with only a few dominant vendors. ... In all likelihood, the only survivors in this market may be vendors with robust partner ecosystems and/or vendors with commercial variants of open source platforms," IDC reported.

Turn the page as CRN takes you to visit the latest offerings from 13 vendors.

Also, check out CRN's 23 Powerful Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Products for 2016.

DataCore SANsymphony-V Software

The SANsymphony-V software from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based DataCore Software transforms standard x86 servers into enterprise-ready SAN or hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, depending on where the application is located. Customers can choose from a range of processors, RAM, disks, or flash media, or purchase pre-integrated solutions from such vendors as Dell, Fujitsu, Cisco or Lenovo.

While the software scales to 64 nodes, only two nodes are required for fault-tolerant data services. It runs alongside Hyper-V or as a high-performance virtual appliance in VMware and other hypervisor environments.

Dell's Nutanix-Based XC Series

Dell in February expanded its hyper-converged infrastructure appliance line with two new models based on its latest server hardware combined with Nutanix's software stack, according to the OEM contract Dell signed last year with Nutanix.

The first is the XC730xd, which is based on Dell's PowerEdge R730xd rack-mount server platform. The XC730xd, based on Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 processors, fits up to 32 TB of storage capacity in a 2U enclosure, or about 60 percent more capacity than the previous model based on the PowerEdge R720xd servers. The second model, the XC630, is based on Dell's 1U PowerEdge R630 platform, and can be configured with up to 9.6 TB of storage capacity.


The EMC VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance, released in February, delivers compute, storage, networking and management through VMware EVO: RAIL and EMC software. EMC claims the solution goes from power on to provisioning virtual machines in less than 15 minutes.

Included with the appliance is VSPEX BLUE Manager, which provides access to electronic services and automated patch and software update notifications; VSPEX BLUE Market, which gives access to prevalidated solutions; and EMC Secure Remote Support for monitoring of the appliance.

The EMC VSPEX hyper-converged infrastructure appliance is available through EMC Business Partner Program distributors, including Arrow, Avnet, Networld, TD Azlan and Tech Data.

Hewlett-Packard: StoreVirtual And EVO: RAIL

Hewlett-Packard in December entered the hyper-converged infrastructure market with its HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual. Based on the company's StoreVirtual virtualized storage solution, it provides advanced data services, disaster recovery, and heterogeneous interoperability across physical and virtual application domains. HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual includes the converged management of HP OneView for VMware vCenter, as well as robust VMware vSphere integration. A version running the HP Helion cloud was released in February.

HP in February also unveiled its HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC EVO: RAIL, a new hyper-converge appliance based on the VMware EVO: RAIL platform. This combines HP ProLiant SL servers with the VMware suite including VMware vSphere, vCenter Server and VMware Virtual SAN.

Hitachi Data Systems UCP 1000

HDS this week just started shipping its new UCP 1000 hyper-converged infrastructure solution, which is based on the VMware EVO: RAIL software stack. The UCP 1000 is a 2U rack-mount appliance with four server nodes. It features internal disk storage and VMware's Virtual SAN software.

HDS is targeting the UCP 1000 at remote and branch offices, and at small data centers.

Huawei Partners With DataCore

China-based Huawei integrated its FusionServer line of servers with software from DataCore to provide end-to-end hyper-converged infrastructure solutions covering storage, network and compute needs.

The new solutions, which scale from two to 64 nodes, can be preinstalled with Microsoft server software, and support Microsoft applications and virtualization projects, as well as mixed Hyper-V and VMware environments running business-critical applications. Two or more Huawei-based server nodes can pool external storage to form a stretch cluster over multiple data centers. Asynchronous replication can be enabled to provide disaster-recovery capabilities, including failover to public cloud services.

Nimboxx AU-110x

Austin, Texas-based Nimboxx in April introduced the AU-110x, the latest addition to the company's portfolio of web-scale, hyper-converged devices. The company claims its AU-110x delivers 360,000 IOPS, and offers higher processing power and a 60 percent increase in storage capacity over its previous model.

The Nimboxx AU-110x is built on the same platform as existing Nimboxx solutions, combining compute, storage, networking and security into a single system. High availability comes from the Nimboxx MeshOS operating environment, letting the appliance provide continued operation of critical workloads with as few as two nodes. MeshOS enables Nimboxx's ’Private Cloud in a Box' functionality with direct control over all hardware in the system.

Nutanix NX-3060-G4

Nutanix, San Jose, Calif., in March added the NX-3060-G4 to its line of hyper-converged products. The new platform, which features three different versions of the latest Intel Haswell CPUs, and offers a choice of VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or KVM hypervisors, and supports up to 12.8 TB of SSD and 32 TBs of hard-drive capacity in 4 nodes which fit in a 2U form factor.

The NX-3060-G4 is managed via the company's current Nutanix Prism user interface, and provides such enterprise capabilities as virtual machine-level snapshot, remote replication and cloning, as well as Nutanix Metro Availability.

Pivot3 Enterprise HCI

Austin, Texas-based Pivot3 builds its scalable Pivot3 Enterprise HCI converged compute and storage appliances based on its patented vSTAC OS software. The Pivot3 Enterprise HCI offers shared compute and storage resource pools for VMware Horizon Suite-based virtual desktops, and for powering business-continuity and disaster- recovery initiative.

The vSTAC OS dynamically aggregates, load-balances and optimizes shared storage, compute and network resources within the Pivot3 Enterprise HCI appliances, which can withstand the simultaneous failure of an entire appliance plus two hard drives, the company said.

Riverbed SteelFusion 4.0

The SteelFusion 4.0 from San Francisco-based Riverbed Technology targets the simplification of branch-office IT support by virtualizing and consolidating 100 percent of data and servers from remote sites into data centers to centralize data security and IT management. SteelFusion does this with a series of hyper-converged appliances that are deployed in a remote office to run applications over a WAN using data stored in a central data center.

New with SteelFusion 4.0 is FusionSync, which provides seamless branch continuity by ensuring all branch data is accessible across private and hybrid cloud environments. This, according to Riverbed, gives remote offices the ability to withstand and recover from data center failures with zero downtime.

SimpliVity Partners With Cisco On OmniStack

Westborough, Mass.-based hyper-converged infrastructure appliance developer SimpliVity, together with Cisco, last fall unveiled the new SimpliVity OmniStack Integrated Solution with Cisco UCS, which combines SimpliVity's OmniStack software and its proprietary hardware card with Cisco UCS C240 rack-mount servers for Cisco solution providers and customers.

The solution provides the same combined hypervisor, server, storage, networking, backup, replication, cloud gateway, caching and deduplication capabilities as the current SimpliVity OmniCube, which is built with Dell hardware. SimpliVity is providing full support, including for the UCS servers, in the OmniStack solution, which solution providers of both vendors can purchase from SimpliVity.

Sphere 3D's V3 Focus On VDI

San Jose, Calif.-based Sphere 3D’s V3 hyper-converged appliance family is optimized for distributed virtual desktop workloads. The three models in the V3 appliances family drop into existing IT infrastructures to provide added increments of 50, 100 or 200 virtual desktops, and can scale linearly to thousands of desktop pools.

Sphere 3D’s Desktop Cloud Orchestrator software lets users move seamlessly between desktop pools depending on workload needs, provides a single pane of glass for virtual desktop provisioning, management and deployment, and automatically fails over pools from one appliance to another.

Supermicro 4-node EVO: RAIL Appliance

The 2U TwinPro 4-node EVO: RAIL appliance from San Jose, Calif.-based Super Micro Technology is a turnkey hyper-converged infrastructure solution that includes dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 compute, up to 4 GB of memory, up to 14.4 TB of hard drive or SSD storage, and 10-Gbit Ethernet networking per node.

The four-host solution with distributed datastore supports up to 100 virtual machines for server workloads, or up to 250 virtual machines for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads. Supermicro's "green computing" technologies include advanced thermal design and energy-efficient technologies, such as its 96 percent efficient digital power supplies.