Technological Cheatsheet to Gartner’s Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant

Businesses, large and small, do not have time to experiment with trial and error to find the most suitable product to fit their needs. They need analyst reports that rank, classify and evaluate all the offerings in a particular technological market eliminating work for enterprises.

The only downside to these reports is that sometimes there needs to be a report of the report because of sheer length or technical complexity. This article wants to highlight the points regarding Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems report.

First, Gartner defines integrated systems as “combinations of server, storage, and network infrastructure, sold with management software that facilitates the provisioning and management of the combined unit.”

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It is an annual report determined to investigate integrated systems—established ones and possible new options— then appropriately rank them within the quadrant. Traditional blade- and SAN-based integrated systems are now being joined by hyperconverged integrated systems, while disaggregated systems and software-defined anything are set to transform the market further in the near future.

Part of the motivation for the study is that hyperconverged integrated systems are predicted to represent over 35 percent of total integrated system market revenue by 2019 and continue to transform the outlook of the market for businesses.
Within the report, it also specifically identifies the categorical assignments:

The market for integrated systems can be divided into three broad categories of integrated systems, some of which overlap. These categories are:

  • Integrated stack system (ISS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated with application software to provide appliance or appliance like functionality. Examples include IBM PureApplication System, Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Teradata. Note that this research does not evaluate the “stack” components of any solution; therefore, this research should not be used as a primary basis for software selection.
  • Integrated infrastructure system (IIS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated to provide shared compute infrastructure. Examples include VCE Vblock, HP ConvergedSystem and Lenovo Converged System (formerly PureFlex).
  • Hyperconverged integrated system (HCIS) — Tightly coupled compute, network and storage hardware that dispenses with the need for a regular storage area network (SAN). Storage management functions — plus optional capabilities like backup, recovery, replication, deduplication and compression — are delivered via the management software layer and/or hardware, together with compute provisioning. Examples include Gridstore, Nimboxx, Nutanix, Pivot3, Scale Computing and SimpliVity.

Within these categories, there were a few types of options excluded: hyperconverged vendors that paired with third parties to create solutions based on their own software stack supported by third-party hardware. Additionally, reference architecture solutions that are meant to only support particular software and hardware points without variable support experience are excluded because it would be mismatched comparison to complete integrated systems.

Gartner made sure to include this statement as well:  “this research is not intended to judge embedded software stacks, application or platform components individually, such as middleware, DBMS software and cluster software in the application or DBMS tiers.” For IT business enterprises looking for insight into this market share, this report will not be helpful.

Businessmen and IT professionals that are hunting for new solutions and utilize the Magic Quadrant Gartner report as a guide need to be aware of these exceptions included the population of products in the report.

Gartner's Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant - YourDailyTech
Gartner’s Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant

For each of the systems, the report summarizes the technology, the strengths and weaknesses and explain the ranking attributed to the integrated system.

  • Cisco
  • EMC (VCE)
  • Nutanix
  • Oracle
  • HP
  • NetApp
  • Lenovo
  • Fujitsu
  • Hitachi
  • Teradata
  • IBM
  • Scale Computing
  • Pivot3
  • SGI
  • Nimboxx
  • SimpliVity
  • Huawei
  • Gridstore

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems is good news for Nutanix, Cisco and HP. Nutanix is ranked best for completeness of vision and rated “a complete infrastructure solutions company, providing its customers flexibility in their choice of hypervisors and cloud usage.”  HP was praised for having “expanded its already comprehensive portfolio of ConvergedSystem model categories to address new workload performance and capacity demands.”`

Cisco was rated so well for its “highly visible success as a partner in the VCE coalition, together with its NetApp reference architectures, has enabled the company to establish credibility as a compute vendor in large global 500 enterprises and to become a leader in the blade server market.”

Oracle’s place in the leaders’ box was due to its broad range of product offerings; additionally they are finding success as its customers use its kit for multiple workloads. Gartner though was also critical of Oracle’s preference for Oracle software on Oracle hardware, noting its failure to support customized needs for customers or work with third parties.

The report also includes explanations for the additions of new businesses, exclusions of past businesses and criteria that determined the ranking of each business. This report can be a guide of matchmaking the right product for each enterprise searching for the right integrated system.

Overall, Gartner says that “the integrated system market is beginning to grow in nuance, but users should still consider many of the integrated system products as adolescent, meaning more innovation, and importantly, more change is to come.”

Gartner also believes that there will be “further numbers of startup organizations eager to enter.” Consolidation is on the cards, as is blurring between market segments “as providers evolve their offerings, integrate new technologies and expand their market addressability with new product strategies.” This is a rapidly-evolving market in which plenty of action can be expected and plenty of choices will continue to come out for enterprise businesses.

Lindsey Cobb

Lindsey Cobb, a Georgia native and former history major, is a technology researcher who is fascinated by past and future of technology. When she is not engrossed in the prophecy of science fiction stories, Lindsey is likely to be planning her next adventurous trip or petting every dog she meets. Contact Lindsey at [email protected]