Alfons Michels

How to Become an Industry Leader

Several weeks ago, DataCore was named an “Industry Leader” in the SDS/HCI Landscape Report from WhatMatrix. What does “Industry Leader” mean and why are we considered one?

Let me start with some background information. First, some definitions: SDS stands for software-defined storage and HCI for hyperconverged infrastructure. Pure software offerings are SDS, while HCI includes hardware. This combined category is one of twelve categories the WhatMatrix community evaluates. Additional categories covered are (server) virtualization, application virtualization, VMware cloud offerings, data protection, public cloud platforms, blockchain for enterprise, DRaaS and four more. Each of these represents a free platform comparison based on user-relevant criteria. They are available online and receive frequent updates. All are intended to inform end-users about the best offerings for their business. For listed offerings, WhatMatrix explains why each criterion is fully, partially or not fulfilled, as well as the technical details on how the individual offering solves underlying customer requirements.

The SDS/HCI category is one of the categories with a dedicated Landscape report. The latest report is based on an evaluation of 12 products from ten major vendors using 111 rated check points. In alphabetic order, the companies covered are: Cisco, DataCore, Datrium, Dell/EMC, HPE, Microsoft, NetApp, Nutanix, Pivot3 and VMware. HPE and Dell/EMC both have an SDS and HCI offering. In addition to briefly explaining the ratings, the report comprehensively analyzes the general evolution and requirements of SDS and HCI, whereas the online comparison provides detailed information about the ratings. Both resources are worth reading for anyone interested in either or both of these technologies.

Unlike reports from larger analysts firms, WhatMatrix evaluates very specific capabilities and is more detailed—and in our opinion, more useful for customers looking to evaluate alternative technology platforms. When I spoke to the leading category consultant, Herman Rutten, about how the report was generated, he replied: “Our Landscape Reports are fundamentally different from other market analysts in that there are no ‘pay-to-play’ or ‘revenue cap’ entry criteria. This allows any capable vendor —small or large, existing or new—to participate. Another major difference is that it is primarily technology focused and every single capability is curated by an independent group of experts. On the road to publication, we actively invite vendors to provide feedback on the content within the online comparison, in order to make sure that reports are both accurate and current.”

These are interesting insights that demonstrate how the in-depth report is generated. However, any report is like a photo: it is a snapshot of a moment in time, and the subject matter goes on to develop further. To put this into context, our listing in the WhatMatrix SDS/HCI comparison initially included only product features available at the time. The capabilities of a new product version that became available two weeks after the WhatMatrix report ‘closed’ gave us a nearly 2% improvement in the online evaluation compared to the data used to compile the report. While that may not sound like much, it is comparably high because that means there is only about 15% missing before we achieve the perfect offering (with all 111 rated capabilities fully fulfilled).

To return to the headline, the answer to ‘how to become a leader’ in the WhatMatrix Landscape report is simple: provide an excellent offering that meets customers’ needs and supports their business goals. For example, in the seven groups of rated criteria (including design & deploy, workload support, server support, storage support, data availability, data services, and management), DataCore receives a well-rounded rating with good overall fulfillment of each. Our obvious strengths are unmatched compatibility and high availability. Additionally, the benefits of hardware independence, ability to leverage existing resources and future-proof infrastructures, and unbeatable migration capabilities will become even more important in the future as SDS/HCI continues to evolve, and particularly, as users understand that HCI deployments should not live in a silo.

The areas where our offering show room for improvement are only additional motivation for our team to fill in the missing pieces and meet all customer requirements. We will continue to improve our products to maintain – and exceed — our standing as a leader in future reports. If you are interested in learning more, see the WhatMatrix’s complete evaluation of the SDS and HCI market and read the WhatMatrix SDS & HCI Landscape Report.

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