HCI, Build vs Buy, Why oh Why!

Whether you build or buy your hyper-converged (HCI) solution the end result is pretty similar. So what, who cares? Well, simply put if you value the longevity of your company you should…

HCII gave a presentation at Dell EMC Forum in Perth last week and had a lot of fantastic conversations afterwards. What was clear to me was that whilst customers love VxRail and Dell XC (Nutanix), for some reason they still like to tinker and build their own solutions.

Everything we are seeing about the new digital age we are entering points to speed to market being the key to success. The biggest differentiator is the “time to market” or “time to value”. Companies who are the first to market with an offering are the ones who are staying competitive.

2/3rds Build Your Own

There is currently 11,000 VSAN customers and one third of those are running VxRail. This means that 2/3rds of customers are building their own solution! Look don’t get me wrong im sure they have built fantastic solutions but all this tech and the HCL’s and whitepapers on ready node configs can be hard to navigate!

Why not put that brain power and your bandwidth into doing what makes the company money? Whilst you are spending hundreds of hours choosing different node types or cache drives what are your competitors doing?

What if whilst you are determining the best node density they chose a pre-engineered solution? They could be 4-12 weeks ahead of you developing that new offering to customers your company was considering doing!

I deal on a daily basis with a lot of very smart guys at some great companies. Yes, im positive that you all can put in the time and effort and end up with a great solution. What I pose to you though; Is what you are doing going to make the company money? The answer invariably is no…

If It dont Make Money, It Dont Make Sense

So if it doesnt make the company money (or whatever the measure of success if for your company) then dont do it. Buy a solution that accelerates that aspect so you can leap forward in the cycle. Once you can leap in front of that aspect you have effectively jumped forward in time.

HCINow your problem is going to be that once your pre-engineered VxRail or Dell XC (Nutanix) nodes come in what to do next. Racking and setting up either solution only takes an hour or so. Now your time can be invested into the advancement of your company!

So how do we do that I hear you ask? Putting in a flashy HCI solution goes a long way to modernizing your infrastructure and automating your operations. The next task is to transform how you do business. This is done through software and applications.

Give The Customers What They Want

The future is all in software and “giving your customers what they want”.  Companies whose industries have already been through disruption and are still going strong have been able to “give them what they want”. Have a think about why you think Netflix or Airbnb are successful, why do you use them?

So now think about the company that you work for. Do your customers give a hoot whether you are on a traditional 3 tier or hyper-converged infrastructure? I strongly doubt it…

Lets agree then that if your customers dont care then you should be putting as little of your effort into it. Buy the solution instead as the cost difference isn’t much. Put all that effort into making your company look more appealing than your competitor.

HCIUse that time to help the business make better business applications or start data analytics. Make whatever it is that differentiates your business your priority from now on. Don’t leave yourself open to disruption from another company who is able to do things faster than you.

Speed Speed Speed

The biggest differentiator in the current market is speed. Get your companies solution out faster than the next guy. Buy the HCI infrastructure as an appliance and concentrate on disrupting your competitors and what makes the company money.



Luke Brown

Author: Luke Brown

Luke Brown is an Advisory Systems Engineer at Dell EMC. He is passionate about all things tech and loves a good debate.

2 thoughts on “HCI, Build vs Buy, Why oh Why!”

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