In the recent article titled “How HCI vendors threaten innovation opportunities,” TechTarget contributor Alastair Cooke acknowledges the great benefits hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offers in simplifying data centers, but also identifies the trade-offs users may face by locking into a proprietary HCI appliance vendor.

Appliance vendors can be many months behind the release of intriguing new technologies, putting their users at a competitive disadvantage. Something as fundamental as driver development and testing must be prioritized by vendors against other requirements and managed within the limits of their resources. Often the scope of any support is biased toward their primary operating environments first, and maybe only those environments.

A solution to this problem is to adopt a software-centric HCI solution that runs on industry standard servers and supports “standard” hypervisors. If the HCI software is designed in a technology agnostic manner, applications should be able to take full advantage of all the underlying platform offers. Applications that can benefit from GPUs should have easy access to them, while new technologies like NVMe, NVMe over Fabric, or in-memory storage such as 3Dxpoint, and the latest Intel processors should be immediately available for customer use. A software design that requires little or no modification to quickly enable this support is the only logical model.

At Maxta, our design is software centric and technology agnostic, and runs on industry standard platforms. As a result, we are consistently the first HCI vendor to support the latest Intel architectures. We support NVMe today, and as NVMe over Fabrics comes to market we’ll be there to welcome it.

The market is moving at an ever-increasing speed. A user’s ability to adopt new technology could have a real impact on their business and determine their ability to compete. A software-centric HCI offering on industry standard platforms is the answer to the insightful problem that Alastair Cooke raises.