Vision? Execution? Sadly, omission and confusion rule Gartner's virty quadrant

Storage, compute and V-word: Together forever

The missing criteria

This leads us around to storage. Putting the cloud integration issue to one side, Gartner still treats storage as somehow separate from compute.

Understanding the need to provide storage and compute together is a bare minimum requirement to qualifying for understanding where the market is going. We're well past that now; actual visionaries are finishing up adding networking to their converged/hyperconverged/data centre converged stacks and are well on to bigger concerns.

Despite this, the integration of storage, networking, network functions, data protection, automation, orchestration, and so forth don't seem to factor in. If they did, Red Hat wouldn't be out in the nosebleeds, and I'd absolutely expect to see Nutanix in there.

While the lack of other vendors frustrates me, Nutanix's absence really bothers me. Nutanix's vision is a lot bigger than simply providing hyperconverged appliances. Gartner has to know this. Gartner has to know this because I've known this for at least a year and a half and Nutanix doesn't tell me anything.

There is no universe in which Gartner didn’t know about Acropolis before I did, including all the many and varied plans for the future.

I reckon Nutanix, like everyone else, gives Gartner five-star briefings with added "yes, sirs" and "thank you, sirs" and "please don't be mean to us, sirs" whereas I'm stuck extracting the information with bottles of scotch.

Microsoft and VMware

I buy Microsoft having a "vision" of where things are to go. I disagree with it on many levels, but Microsoft absolutely has a plan and it is headed there in one hell of a hurry. It took a few brushfires regarding staffing, but Microsoft is now mostly one mind, one direction. No matter how you slice it, Microsoft has a vision, and that vision includes all relevant components of tomorrow's datacenter.

VMware is another story. VMware has visions (plural) of where virtualisation is going. Unfortunately, many of them conflict with one another and they change on a dime the instant a VMware ecosystem partner develops a successful product.

According to Gartner, you are visionary if you understand where the market is going. Microsoft qualifies because in the real world Microsoft owns so many pieces of the average enterprise's infrastructure that the market goes wherever Microsoft tells it to (and damned be the first that cried "hold, enough!").

VMware doesn't have that kind of power. It likes to think it does, but if anyone honestly believes in VMware's ability to tell the market what to do, I think it's time we had a sit down and talked about just how many EVO:RAIL clusters have actually shipped. Then we'll talk about Nutanix.

And what exactly counts here? Microsoft has a public cloud solution that is inarguably one of the top two in the world, though its storage solutions are lagging. VMware is ploughing ahead with storage, though its vCloud Air is not really much of a public cloud solution, and even with the Google partnership it is quite a ways behind.

From the hybrid vantage, VMware's vCloud Air is great but Microsoft is catching right up. OpenStack competitors can offer some challenge, but everyone else is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, Oracle, while in no way a visionary, absolutely can deliver, even if all it is doing is repackaging. Parallels’ Odin is both visionary regarding containers, and has a proven ability to deliver.

If containers aren't separate from hypervisors in virtualisation, and Odin is out in the nosebleeds for not being all things to all people and having full hypervisors, then both VMware and Microsoft should not be towards the "visionary" end of things, as they do not have containerisation offerings ready to go, or even firm dates for their release.

If the others are taking hits for not having public or hybrid cloud offerings, then VMware should be knocked back for their lack of public cloud offerings, while Microsoft should be losing points for being laggards on storage.

Similar to the above, I can't buy Nutanix's absence due to lack of vision. If Nutanix isn't included because the vision that takes Nutanix from the hyperconverged Magic Quadrant to the virtualisation Magic Quadrant hasn't been realised yet, then I need to go right back to this: how are VMware and Microsoft so far out in front?

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