by Cliff Grossner, PhD, IHS Markit
Editor’s Note: Cliff and his IHS Markit team interviewed IT decision-makers in 151 North American organizations that operate data centers (DCs) and have at least 101 employees.
While enterprise have been adopting cloud services for a number of years now, they are also continuing to make significant investments in their on-premises data center infrastructure. We are seeing a continuation of the enterprise DC growth phase signaled by last year’s respondents and confirmed by respondents to this study. Enterprises are transforming their on-premises DC to a cloud architecture, making the enterprise DC a first-class citizen as enterprises build their multi-clouds.
The on-premises DC is evolving with server diversity set to increase, the DC network moving to higher speeds, and increased software defined storage with solid state drive (SSD) adoption, according to the Data Center Strategies and Leadership North American Enterprise Survey
“Application architectures are evolving with the increased adoption of software containers and micro-services coupled with a Dev/Ops culture of rapid and frequent software builds. In addition, we see new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) incorporated into applications. These applications consume network bandwidth in a very dynamic and unpredictable manner and make new demands on servers for increased parallel computation,” said Cliff Grossner, senior research director and advisor for cloud and data center at IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.
“New software technologies are driving more diverse compute architectures. An example is the development of multi-tenant servers (VMs and software containers), which is requiring new features in CPU silicon to support these technologies. AI and ML have given rise to a market for specialized processors capable of high degrees of parallelism (such as GPGPUs and the Tensor Processing Unit from Google). We can only expect this trend to continue and new compute architectures emerging in response,” said Grossner.
More Data Center Strategies Highlights
· Respondents expect a greater than 2x increase in the average number of physical servers in their DCs by 2019.
· Top DC investment drivers are security and application performance (75% of respondents) and scalability (71%).
· 9% of servers are expected to be 1-socket by 2019, up from 3% now.
· 73% of servers are expected to be running hypervisors or containers by 2019, up from 70% now.
· Top DC fabric features are high speed (68% of respondents), automated VM movement (62%), and support for network virtualization protocols (62%).
· 53% of respondents intend to increase investment in software defined storage, 52% in NAS, and 42% in SSD.
· 30% of respondents indicated they are running general purpose IT applications, 22% are running productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, and 18% are running collaboration tools such as email, SharePoint, and unified communications in their data centers.
· Cisco, Dell, HPE, Juniper, and Huawei were identified as the top 5 DC Ethernet switch vendors by respondents ranking the top 3 vendors in each of 8 selection criteria.
Data Center Network Research Synopsis:
The IHS Markit Data Center Networks Intelligence Service provides quarterly worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2022, analysis and trends for (1) data center Ethernet switches by category [purpose-built, bare metal, blade, and general purpose], port speed [1/10/25/40/50/100/200/400GE] and market segment [enterprise, telco and cloud service provider], (2) application delivery controllers by category [hardware-based appliance, virtual appliance], and (3) software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) [appliances and control and management software], (4) FC SAN switches by type [chassis, fixed], and (5) FC SAN HBAs.
Vendors tracked include A10, ALE, Arista, Array Networks, Aryaka, Barracuda, Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, CradlePoint, Dell, F5, FatPipe, HPE, Huawei, Hughes, InfoVista, Juniper, KEMP, Nokia (Nuage), Radware, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Talari, TELoIP, VMware, ZTE and others.