Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, September 24, 2023

Surge Seen for Software-Defined Datacenter Market 

The booming big data market along with growing demand for automated datacenter operations are spurring adoption of management and other services offered by software-defined datacenters, according to a new report that also forecasts a 32-percent annual growth rate for virtualized computing, networking and storage.

In a report released this week, Allied Market Research pegs the software-defined datacenter market at $139 billion by 2022. While cost savings and flexibility continue to drive global adoption, the market researcher also noted that integration complexity and security threats still represent a drag on wider adoption.

Among the adoption drivers for virtualized datacenters is the steady embrace of hybrid cloud models as enterprises look to leverage cloud flexibility and savings while securing proprietary data and applications on-premises.

The Asian-Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period as more datacenters are built and major players like the Chinese government make heavy investments in IT infrastructure. The region accounted for an estimated 20 percent of the global market for virtualized datacenters in 2014.

Exponential growth in big data projects also is driving demand for virtualized storage, the report noted. Hence, software-defined infrastructure is seen as the most cost effective way of securely storing the projected 40 zettabytes to be generated by big data initiatives by 2020. Soaring data volumes also are expected to place a premium on hyper-scale infrastructure that can be properly sized for data analytics efforts.

Data security remains an ongoing concern, as does the growing complexity of data and application integration. Among the service segments analyzed in the datacenter reports, integration, deployment and migration accounted for the highest percentage of revenues since 2014 "as it involves new hardware setup cost such as servers and automated storage systems," the report notes.

Meanwhile, managed services are expected to grow faster over the next several years, accounting for about 36 percent of the current market while forecast to expand rapidly as demand grow from large enterprises requiring assistance in deploying software-defined infrastructure.

Among the leading enterprise adopters is the telecommunications sector.

The report also handicaps the key players vying for a share of the software-defined datacenter market, including market leaders VMware and the EMC storage unit of the new Dell Technologies behemoth. IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) also are ranked among the key vendors through 2022. Emerging players include Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) while established players like Cisco System (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) continue to fine-tune their cloud strategies.

Among the wild cards in the virtualized datacenter sweepstakes are two vendors moving in opposite directions: The new Dell Technologies incorporating storage leader EMC and a slimmed- down Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE). Dell is going for scale and size while HPE is shedding non-core businesses and striving for agility.

Despite the recent sale of its "non-core" software assets, HPE's Meg Whitman noted: "The software defined infrastructure is all powered by software, but it's not applications software…. It is actually system software that powers the infrastructure."


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).