Cisco HyperFlex prepares businesses for a hybrid, multi-cloud world

It’s been a busy hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) week for Cisco. Yesterday it announced its intent to acquire secure HCI vendor, Skyport Systems. Today it announced HyperFlex 3.0, which is the biggest update Cisco has had to the product since it introduced the product years ago. Cisco’s driving vision is a business that can run any workload on any cloud that can easily scale up as required. This latest release is entirely dedicated to fulfilling that vision.

The cloud is the future, and the majority of businesses will adopt hybrid clouds. In announcing HyperFlex 3.0, Cisco cited an IDC data point that states that 87 percent of businesses are using or plan to use a hybrid environment, and 94 percent plan to use multiple clouds — meaning that hybrid, multi-clouds will be the norm.

Barriers remain on the path to hybrid, multi-cloud

This poses some roadblocks to achieving the “any cloud, any workload, any scale” vision, most notably there’s no single flavor of cloud, leading to a lack of uniformity. There are different hypervisors, applications, operating systems and performance requirements. To meet these requirements, businesses have turned to HCI, which is why it’s been one of the fastest growing infrastructure markets over the past five years. And I certainly don’t expect that to change over the next five.

Cisco was somewhat of a latecomer to the HCI industry but took a bit of a different approach, allowing it to catch up and pass many of its competitors. As I pointed out in my Skyport post, most of the HCI vendors focus only on software whereas Cisco’s strategy has been to build a solution that leverages the strengths of hardware and software. This approach is nothing new for Cisco, as almost all of its products are architected to optimize hardware and software.

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