As part of our ongoing series of interviews with our partner community, we spoke with Liam Mattock, vSAN Partner Development Specialist for NEMEA and Henry Godwin, Manager of Distribution for vSAN and NSX Channel for UK&I at VMware. They discussed why 2017 will be such a crucial year for resellers and how vSAN can help customers truly deliver on the promise of digital transformation.
Businesses on their digital transformation journey face many obstacles when updating their data center architecture to support this objective. From having too many infrastructure silos, to delivering true scalability or supporting web-scale apps, investment in high performance cloud solutions will be with a priority in the immediate future. This uncertainty presents a golden opportunity for informed resellers to add huge value this year.
The requirements of private cloud among enterprise end users have evolved rapidly. This trend has been noted by many channel analysts who predict a shift in market revenues, particularly when it comes to storage. With the adoption of converged infrastructure set to continue, technologies such as VMware’s Hyper-converged infrastructure solutions powered by vSAN must be a priority for forward thinking resellers looking to capitalise on the move from the traditional data center to hyper-converged infrastructure. VMware HCI solutions are a fundamental part of the software-defined data centre, and offers many benefits over traditional storage. Central to this is that it allows your customers to scale much more easily and embrace digital transformation. At the same time, VMware HCI solutions offers lower total costs of ownership compared to traditional storage, which is something customers are always interested in.
At present, VMware has more than 6,000 customers using vSAN with Ready Nodes and VxRail – only 1% of the potential install base. With IDC predicting massive growth in hyper-converged infrastructure, resellers well-versed in the technology are in a strong position to take advantage of an exciting market opportunity.
But what’s the best way to start? An obvious route is to monitor for customer’s storage refresh cycle. At this point it is logical for resellers to position vSAN as a simple solution that can fit into existing vSphere environments, but with all the added benefits of virtualized storage. However, once you’ve sold in vSAN this can develop into something much bigger. We recently worked with a partner who delivered vSAN for a customer, and this helped to open the doors to having a wider conversation around SDDC, including vSOM and NSX. From here, more opportunities developed, including hardware, software and services.
It is clear companies are interested in the benefits cloud can offer, including the control and flexibility needed to drive innovation and the ability to deliver products and services to customers in a scalable, cost effective way. Businesses are realising the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy. VMware have recently launched VMware Cloud Foundation which is underpinned by vSAN. VMware Cloud Foundation can help customers get there by delivering the software defined data center on x86 servers. Combined with other solutions in the software-defined technology stack, it is ready to support a wide range of applications, from current business critical applications to next-gen applications using containers.
Partners are well placed to provide guidance to help businesses fulfil the promises of such technology whether they are looking to a distributor to get them enabled or provide a storage assessment. From running on to off-premise, vSAN could be the stepping stone many companies will be looking for to reduce costs, provide simplicity and speed up time to market. By working with the overall VMware environment too, partners have an easy gateway to sell other services whilst reducing the risks surrounding the digital transformation of customers by enabling them to use existing tools, skillsets and solutions to save precious time whilst allowing the flexibility to expand with other VMware SDDC and multi-cloud offerings as business needs grow.
2017 will be the year for partners to help customers realise the full potential digital transformation can bring. VMWare HCI solutions powered by vSAN is a great solution to offer as it has many immediate benefits, but is also the cornerstone of a much broader approach. With virtualized storage in place, customers can fully embrace digital transformation, but only with a knowledgeable and proactive partner there to help them.