Hyper-Converged Systems By The Numbers: IDC - InformationWeek

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8/11/2016
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Hyper-Converged Systems By The Numbers: IDC

As converged and hyper-converged systems gain ground in the server and system market the real question for many IT professionals is exactly how integrated the systems should be. Here's a look at how the market is shaping up.

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Buying a completely integrated system from a vendor saves customers time, effort, and (often) money, so these highly integrated systems are becoming more popular among enterprise customers. The real question for many IT professionals is exactly how integrated the systems should be.

According to market research firm IDC, overall "converged system" sales grew 8.5% in fourth quarter 2015 compared with the same quarter in 2014. The capacity of those systems (measured in petabytes of storage) grew by more than 26% in the same time period.

[How does your data center stack up? Read 7 Cool Data Center Innovations.]

IDC breaks the converged system market into three distinct segments, according to the company's Worldwide Converged Systems Tracker, released in March 2016:

  • Integrated systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software.
  • Certified reference systems are also pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software. However, certified reference systems are designed with systems from multiple technology vendors.
  • Hyper-converged systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution. A key characteristic of hyper-converged systems that differentiates these solutions from other integrated systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources.

It's important to keep a couple of things in mind when thinking about these systems. Certified reference systems may, and often do, contain components from multiple vendors. The systems integrator selling them is the company certifying their ability to work together as a seamless whole. And they work together as a whole, even though applications may very well access the components individually.

Hyper-converged systems are, as stated above, highly virtualized. The virtualization of all the resources is managed through a single supervisor system. In many ways, an application's access to the hyper-converged system is very much like it would be for a cloud solution. The application almost never reaches down to directly touch a component of the system.

Here's a look at hyper-converged systems by the numbers, courtesy of IDC:

(Image: IDC)

(Image: IDC)

(Cover image: 4X-image/iStockphoto)

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
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