Gartner has released its first “Competitive Landscape: Chinese Infrastructure Software-defined Storage Vendors”. A total of 9 major local vendors competing in the Chinese iSDS market were covered in the report, including SmartX, Huawei, H3C, and Inspur, etc. The market competing capabilities of 4 pure-play iSDS vendors (incl. SmartX) were analyzed in detail.

SmartX stands out as a competitive pure-play iSDS/HCI vendor, with its fully self-developed block storage ZBS, leading technologies and product features, high repurchase rate in finance and other industries, as well as support for broad scenarios including hyper-convergence, storage-compute separation, and containerization.

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Gartner’s overview of SmartX:

Founded in 2013, SmartX is a venture-funded company focused on storage area. SmartX is known for its fully self-developed block storage ZBS and was initially positioned as a dedicated HCI vendor. To satisfy the independent storage deployment needs of large enterprises, SmartX launched its iSDS products in 2019. The company currently has three product lines, hyperconverged infrastructure, distributed block storage, and container native storage(IOMesh). With plans to expand its products to network and security areas, SmartX is evolving to a broad data center infrastructure vendor.

SmartX products support all mainstream business applications of block storage. The products also provide data services for on-premises deployment. IOMesh is specifically designed to provide persistent block storage for containerized stateful applications, such as database.
SmartX products can be delivered as software and appliances. For software, they provide licensing and subscription models.

Gartner on how SmartX competes:

SmartX’s products focus on block storage. Its HCI products have successfully established product competitiveness in terms of reliability and performance. The support for NVMe-oF and persistent memory enables their products to show higher performance. ZBS has been adopted by a wide range of vertical industries. In particular, it has a strong footprint in finance, healthcare and manufacturing. The high repeat purchase rate of existing clients well proves its technical strength, which also helps increase the credibility of other iSDS products.

In addition to direct coverage of large verticals such as finance, SmartX has established a nationwide distribution channel network. They work closely with hardware vendors and solution providers to seize emerging opportunities in edge. SmartX is also actively expanding into oversea market and has won customers in Asia/Pacific and EMEA.

SmartX has built a relatively broad and open ecosystem, with multi-vendors support from systems, virtualization, to cloud management platforms. In terms of local processor support, SmartX has been certified on Kunpeng, Phytium and Hygon, with real user cases in production environment.