IDC SWD Infrastructure Tracker favours Nutanix over VMware

Courtesy of IDC, Nutanix has been named number one in the software-defined storage controller market, beating VMware into second place.

IDC recently redesigned its software tracking reports, producing a single and semi-annual Software-Defined Infrastructure Tracker report, with three segments: compute, storage controller, and networking.

The storage segment looks at storage software stacks delivering storage services in conjunction with COTS hardware to create a complete storage system. IDC states: “SDS-CS is the core software that virtualises and pools the storage resources across different servers that comprise the SDS. SDS-CS provides for data persistence, a set of data services (snapshots, replication, etc.), and a method of data organisation (block, file, and/or object) along with one or more defined access methods (block, file, and/or object). Another way to describe an SDS system is that it has modular building blocks, uses industry-standard hardware platforms, and typically employs distributed, scale-out architecture.”

This covers more ground than hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software, but HCI is the largest proportion of it. 

Nutanix has revealed details of suppliers’ rankings in that segment in a blog by Tonya Chin, its SVP for Corporate Marketing and Investor Relations. Yes, the topic is that important.

Chin starts out by writing, “The hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market has been on a fast journey over the past few years.” It’s moved from being hardware-centric to software-centric.

Then she writes, “I’m ecstatic to share [that] Nutanix is clearly the market leader with 25 per cent of the market, well ahead of the nearest competitor at 15 per cent.”

Here is a pie chart of the IDC numbers that Nutanix has kindly revealed:

Blocks & Files chart using Nutanix-sourced IDC numbers.

Chin burbles, “We’re deeply grateful to IDC for realising that there was a gaping hole in the market when it came to HCI software, and bringing this project to completion while giving Nutanix the credit that we long knew it was due.”

She writes, “IDC asserts that SDI (Software-Defined Infrastructure) is a better proxy for where HCI is headed as it encompasses all three infrastructure software elements: compute, storage, and networking.”


Why is VMware so far behind Nutanix in the storage controller segment? We would have thought VSAN sales far outstripped Nutanix SW sales. Another oddity to our eyes is that NetApp has seven per cent of the market while HPE, with SimpliVity and Nimble dHCI products is, we suppose, either absent altogether or lumped into the Others category.

IBM-Red Hat is given ten per cent of the market, but its HCI market presence is generally perceived to be as near zero as makes no difference.

Until we get to see more details of the IDC tracker document, we are left scratching our heads in puzzlement at this  apparently odd take on the market.