Converged Infrastructure Spending to Hit $3.8B by 2014: Survey

Researcher TBR reports that the average budget allocated for a converged infrastructure solution is almost $900,000.

The data center trend around buying converged infrastructure -- preintegrated/prevalidated stacks of computing, storage and networking hardware and software -- isn't just a meeting topic any more. It's become a line item in budgets and now has its own projected marketshare reports.

Technology Business Research's Converged Infrastructure Landscape Report came out July 31 with the estimate that large U.S. enterprises will spend more than $3.8 billion in the next 12 months on converged systems.

TBR surveyed more than 400 IT and LOB decision makers at medium and large enterprises as part of the report and determined the average budget allocated for a converged infrastructure solution is almost $900,000. About 25 percent of respondents said they expect to spend more than $1 million on the new data center equipment

Workloads Deployed Are Often Different

"Customers are deploying converged systems to accommodate a wide range of workloads," said Christian Perry, senior analyst for data centers and in TBR's Computing Practice. "However, the workloads that influence the purchases of converged systems are not always the same as those actually deployed after purchase. This reveals that customers are finding use cases for these systems beyond what they expected prior to purchase."

Vendors often tell eWEEK that converged, high-performance systems are optimal for such use cases as cloud deployments, high-transaction retail and financials, and databases. eWEEK asked Perry for more detail on what types of other applications are being deployed on the new systems.

"I don't mean that customers are using converged systems primarily for odd or less-common workloads," Perry told eWEEK. "We believe that as customers grow more accustomed to the capabilities of the systems through testing and integration with the rest of their IT ecoystems, they may be using the systems for more or other workloads than they expected prior to purchase.

"Our research shows that data-centric workloads, including databases, will be heavy drivers of this market as it continues to grow."

Profiles of Converged Infrastructure Providers Included

Along with extensive research into workload influencers, deployments and performance on converged systems, TBR researched customer expectations and satisfaction with specific system attributes, such as quality, reliability, open architectures and others. TBR found that certain attributes ranked similarly to those considered important to the purchase decision of customers of traditional servers, but that other converged-specific attributes were not as important.

"Some vendors may be funneling investments toward system attributes designed to showcase the unique abilities of converged systems, but our research found that some of these factors simply aren't important to customers that either purchased converged systems or are considering a future purchase," Perry said.

Adoption of converged systems is gaining momentum across a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, government and health care, with financial institutions and banks leading adoption rates. The Converged Infrastructure Landscape Report also features detailed profiles of major converged infrastructure vendors, including Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, Huawei, NEC, IBM, NetApp, Oracle and VCE, which include vendor strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analyses and portfolio overviews.

Technology Business Research, Inc., based in Hampton, N.H., is an independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, telecom and enterprise network vendors, and operators.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...