Cisco joins HCI leaders in Gartner’s MQ

Cisco’s HyperFlex hyper-converged system has joined the leaders’ squad, getting promoted from from the challenger’s square and overtaking HPE – just, in the latest HCI Magic Quadrant from Gartner.

Here’s a standard MQ explainer: the “magic quadrant” is defined by axes labelled “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision”, and split into four squares tagged “visionaries”, “niche players”, “challengers” and “leaders”.

Gartner put out a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) systems MQ in February, defining HCI systems strictly as virtualisation + compute + storage in one enclosure with one order number (SKU). It did not include semi-HCI systems from the likes of Datrium and NetApp in its definition and they were absent from the February HCI MQ, and are absent from this updated one.

Here are the two MQs;

February 2018 edition
November 2018 edition, enlarged from small Twitter tweet image.

Instantly we can see Cisco’s move rightwards from the Challenger’s square to the Leader’s box. The overtake of HPE is extra pleasure for Cisco, who is mightily pleased overall, saying the Leaders’ box entry has happened after just 2.5 years shipping the acquired Springpath product to its more than 3,500 customers.

Nutanix leads the leaders, followed by Dell EMC and VMware, then Cisco, with HPE close behind

Absent Cisco, Huawei and Pivot3 have roughly unchanged positions in the Challengers’ square.

In the Visionaries’ box we see Microsoft on its own; Stratoscale having been ejected, and that company now has a focus on cloud-native products and services.

Next door the niche players squad has increased from three players in February to six today, with the additions of Maxta, Red Hat, StarWind and StorMagic, and the elimination of HTBase. Scale Computing has moved up and right to continue leading the niche players.

Gartner gives honourable mentions in its HCI MQ report to Datrium, Fujitsu, Hitachi Vantara, Lenovo, NetApp, the New H3C Group, Riverbed, Robin Systems, Sangfor Technologies and ZeroStack.

We can only begin to imagine the intensity of the discussions there must have been between suppliers such as Datrium and NetApp and the Gartner analysts about inclusion in the MQ. What fun!