Converged Infrastructure and Server Trends
Spending on Data-Optimized Infrastructure is Strong


About This Report: In October, the 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance surveyed 734 members about their organization’s adoption of converged infrastructure – including 90-day spending plans, vendor satisfaction, and the top benefits and inhibitors – along with a look at use of traditional servers.

Converged Infrastructure Spending. Spending over the next 90 days on Data-Optimization Infrastructure (44% increase, 3% decrease) is strong. Hyperconverged Infrastructure (30% increase, 7% decrease) and Standard Converged Infrastructure (29% increase, 9% decrease) continue to grow, but at a slower pace.

Benefits. In terms of the top benefits of adopting converged infrastructure, To Consolidate Server, Storage and Network Hardware (36%) and Simplify Management/Operations (32%) topped the list, followed by Improved System Performance/Availability/Scalability (31%).

Inhibitors. Looking at inhibitors to converged adoption, Acquisition Cost (35%) ranks as number one followed by Lack of Internal Expertise (29%) and Internal Resistance to Change (19%).

Satisfaction. A wide majority of respondents (96%) are satisfied with their converged infrastructure vendors – 65% High Satisfaction (8-10) and 31% Moderate Satisfaction (5-7). Only 4% selected Low Satisfaction (0-4).

Traditional Infrastructure Benefits. When asked about the top benefits of using traditional infrastructure, Familiarity with Infrastructure (50%) was number one, followed by Compatibility with Existing Infrastructure (34%) and Familiarity with Management Platform(s) (28%).

By Tracy Corbo

451 Research classifies converged infrastructure into three main types:

Standard Converged Infrastructure – An integrated system of storage, compute and/or networking hardware, including both infrastructure software (hypervisor, operating system, etc.) and management software (orchestration, monitoring, self-service portal, etc.).

Hyperconverged Infrastructure – Clusters of virtualized standard x86 servers running storage management software to create a single virtual appliance combining compute and storage.

Data-Optimized Infrastructure – Compute, storage and/or networking hardware integrated with management and workload-specific software, designed for database and analytics use cases, such as data warehousing and business analytics.

Converged Infrastructure Spending

Respondents were asked about their organizations’ spending plans for each of the three main types of converged infrastructure over the next 90 days and spending on Data-Optimization Infrastructure (44% increase, 3% decrease) remains the strongest segment.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (30% increase, 7% decrease) and Standard Converged Infrastructure (29% increase, 9% decrease) are growing, but at a slightly lesser pace.

Data-Optimized Infrastructure 90-Day Spending. The percentage of respondents who say data-optimized infrastructure spending will increase over the next 90 days is up 13-pts from the 31% reported in the March survey, while the percentage who say decrease has improved 6-pts from March to just 3% in October.

Hyperconverged 90-Day Spending. Hyperconverged infrastructure spending over the next 90 days has dipped 10-pts from 40% in the March survey to 30% in October, while the percentage who say decrease has improved 2-pts.

Standard Converged 90-Day Spending. Spending on standard converged infrastructure is up 7-pts from March, while the percentage who say decrease has improved 5-pts over the last 7 months.

Converged Infrastructure Adoption

Respondents were asked to describe their organization’s adoption of the three types of converged infrastructure. Just over half of the respondents are broadly deploying production applications on Standard Converged Infrastructure (52%). In contrast, only about a third are claiming broad deployments of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (32%) and Data-Optimized Infrastructure (33%).

A closer look at other phases of implementation shows a larger number of respondents are only in the Discovery and Evaluation stage with hyperconverged (22%) and data-optimized infrastructure (19%) than in test or trial projects.

Top Benefits and Inhibitors of Converged Infrastructure

Benefits. In terms of what respondents see as the top benefits to adopting converged infrastructure – Consolidate Server, Storage and Network Hardware (34%) and Simplify Management/Operations (30%) topped the list, followed by Improved System Performance/Availability/Scalability (29%).

Inhibitors. Regarding inhibitors to adoption of converged infrastructure, Acquisition Cost (35%) ranks as number one, followed by Lack of Internal Expertise (29%) and Internal Resistance to Change (19%).

Converged Infrastructure Vendors

Respondents were asked which converged infrastructure vendors they currently use and Dell/EMC (46%) topped the list, followed by VMware Virtual SN (31%) and Cisco (29%).

Satisfaction. In order to find out how satisfied respondents are with their current converged infrastructure, they were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with on a scale from 0-10 scale where 0 is ‘Not at all Satisfied’ and 10 is ‘Extremely Satisfied.’

The vast majority of respondents (96%) are satisfied with their converged infrastructure vendors – 65% High Satisfaction (8-10) and 31% Moderate Satisfaction (5-7). Only 4% selected Low Satisfaction (0-4).

Overall satisfaction levels were lower among organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Server and Traditional Infrastructure Trends

Over the next 90 days, 31% of respondents say their organizations plan to increase x86 Server spending, compared with an 11% decrease. Spending on RISC-based Servers appears to be slowing with only a 15% increase in contrast to a 33% decrease in spending plans. Mainframes (17% increase, 16% decrease) spending remains relatively flat.

x86 Servers Running VMs. Nearly half of the respondents report that more than three quarters of their x86 servers are currently running virtual machines (VMs).

Traditional Infrastructure Benefits. When respondents were asked about the top benefits of using traditional infrastructure, Familiarity with Infrastructure (50%) ranked at the top, followed by Compatibility with Existing Infrastructure (34%) and Familiarity with Management Platform(s) (28%).

You can access a PDF version of this 451 Alliance report here.

If you have any questions about your 451 Alliance membership, please contact 451Alliance@451Research.com
451 Research, LLC does not make any warranties, express or implied, as to the information presented in this report.