Worldwide integrated systems revenue is forecast to total $12.3 billion in 2018, an increase of 18.4 percent from $10.2 billion in 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. The hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) segment will experience the strongest growth (55 percent); whereas integrated stack systems will experience a five percent decline (see Table 1.)
Integrated systems are combinations of server, storage and network infrastructure, sold with management software that facilitates the provisioning and management of the combined unit. It can be used to derive the benefit of an architected design and deployment of integrated compute, storage and memory infrastructure to support digital business.
“The majority of integrated systems replace existing infrastructure, which is great for cost, agility and consolidation of IT and efficiency metrics,” said Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner. “When implementing this as part of a digital business initiative, however, IT organizations must look at how the potential savings of capital expenditure (capex), may be offset by potential shifts in operating expenditure (opex).”
Table 1: Integrated System Revenue by Segment, Worldwide, 2017-2019 (Millions of USD)
|Hyperconverged Integrated Systems||2,823.70||4,376.80||6,346.30|
|Integrated Infrastructure Systems||2,489.20||2,613.60||2,718.20|
|Integrated Stack Systems||1,723.20||1,637.00||1,555.20|
|Total Integrated Systems||10,161.70||12,034.40||14,231.00|
Source: Gartner (March 2018)
Julia Palmer, research director at Gartner, said IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders must begin to shift thinking when evaluating integrated systems.
“The need to accommodate new workloads, integrate edge and public cloud infrastructure and reduce operational complexity is driving I&O leaders to look for more agile integrated systems,” said Ms. Palmer. “Next-generation systems emerging today are flexible, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled, software-driven solutions that meet the requirements of digital business.”
Trends impacting the integrated services market include:
- Shifting forces trigger decline in integrated infrastructure systems
Integrated infrastructure systems (IIS) integrate server, storage and network hardware, along with management software, to provide shared compute infrastructure. Gartner predicts that by 2019, 30 percent of organizations that are due to refresh IIS will shift to newer, more flexible and cost-effective alternatives, such as reference architecture and HCIS.
- HCIS appliance maintains strong growth
HCIS is a platform offering shared compute and storage resources, based on software-defined storage, software-defined compute, commodity hardware and a unified management interface. Strong growth is being driven by organizations shifting away from IIS to HCIS for its support of wider data center uses. Edge infrastructure is also expected to incrementally accelerate HCIS adoption. In particular, nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) protocol for flash technology is being embraced in HCIS to deliver better input/output operations per second (IOPS), smaller footprints, lower latency and power consumption. Gartner predicts NVMe will account for five percent of HCIS spend by 2020, from virtually zero in 2017.
- Reference architecture: a dynamically expanding segment
Reference architecture is the second-largest revenue contributor in the integrated systems market for 2018. It provides a documented representation such as a blueprint, document model or graphic that illustrates “how things fit together” to address a specific business need or opportunity. Its value is to provide a common vocabulary, understanding and perspective to discuss implementation options, integration requirements and areas of customization. Gartner indicates that providers such as Dell EMC, Cisco/NetApp, Pure Storage and IBM are actively driving customer acquisition in this space.
- Integrated stack systems will continue to shrink
Integrated stack systems comprised of server, storage and network hardware are integrated with application software to provide appliance functionality. These systems will slowly reduce their contribution to the overall integrated system market, primarily owing to the cloud-centric strategy driven by major providers. Twenty percent of organizations with refresh due for integrated stack systems will shift to cloud-based alternatives by 2020.