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Cisco, Oracle, VCE Top Converged Infrastructure Vendors

Revenues for integrated data center solutions grow as organizations demand tools to deal with mobility, cloud and big data, IDC says.

data center

The market for converged data center solutions from the likes of Cisco Systems, Oracle, VCE and IBM continues to grow rapidly, with revenue jumping by 38.5 percent in the first three months of the year, according to IDC analysts.

According to numbers the firm released June 26, first-quarter revenues worldwide for converged systems hit $1.95 billion, a 38.5 percent increase over the same period in 2013. At the same time, the systems created 653.8 petabytes of new storage capacity shipments during the quarter, an increase of 72.3 percent over the first quarter last year.

The market growth reflects the increasing demand from businesses that are looking to leverage such trends as mobile computing, big data, social networking and the cloud into their environments, and need new IT solutions to handle the change, according to Jed Scaramella, research director for enterprise servers at IDC.

"Many customers see the convergence of server, storage, and networking in integrated systems as a means to deliver IT efficiency and agility," Scaramella said in a statement. "IDC expects to see more workload-optimized systems come to market in the near-term."

IDC analysts divide the converged solutions market into two categories: integrated platforms and integrated infrastructures. Both have the same basic building blocks, such as tightly integrated compute, storage, networking and management software in a single solution. However, integrated platforms also are optimized for specific workloads and come with packaged software and customized engineering to meet the needs of those particular workloads.

In the first quarter, global revenues for integrated platforms grew 8.3 percent from the previous year, to $769.6 million. Leading the way was Oracle, which offers a range of tightly integrated systems—including Exadata and Exalogic—that leverage SPARC processors acquired when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. Oracle owned a dominant 48 percent of the market, followed by IBM's 9.7 percent and Hewlett-Packard's 2 percent.

The integrated infrastructure space was larger and grew faster, with revenues hitting almost $1.2 billion and growing 69.4 percent over the same period in 2013. The FlexPod offering from Cisco and NetApp was the top seller in the space, with 22.7 percent of the market. That was followed by VCE, a company that came out of the partnership of Cisco, VMware and EMC and sells systems called Vblocks. VCE held 21.5 percent of the market, with EMC at 15.2 percent.

"Once again we witnessed an increasing number of organizations around the world leveraging integrated systems to address longstanding datacenter infrastructure inefficiencies," Eric Sheppard, research director for storage at IDC, said in a statement. "As such, this market remains one of the fastest growing segments of the overall infrastructure market."