Often, common data center structures no longer meet the business IT need for speed and flexibility. The island concept featuring specialized units is too complex and rigid. For that reason, some vendors have been offering what are known as converged infrastructures for several years now. These range from VCE vBlock to FlexPod from NetApp and Cisco, as well as IBM Flex System, HP Converged System, Dell Active System or Oracle Virtual Compute.
In the third quarter of 2015, according to IDC the market for converged systems increased by 6.2 percent to more than 2.5 billion US dollars compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Analysts also noted strong growth in terms of new storage capacity: a rise of 34.8 percent to approximately 1,261 petabytes. A petabyte of MP3 music would play continuously for 2,000 years.
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To return to the IDC study, these comparatively new hyperconverged systems in particular will drive the market. Resembling black boxes, they contain all the components of a data center. The biggest benefit is that users do not need to know how the hardware is built. All they need to do is connect the system and set up their virtual machines. By contrast, conventional converged infrastructures consist of components which, although aligned, all involve time and effort on installation and configuration.
According to IDC, revenues from hyperconverged systems were up 155.3 percent in the last quarter to almost 280 million dollars. Sales of integrated systems, however, were down 1.4 percent to 1.591 million dollars. Certified reference systems experienced minimal growth of 0.3 percent, accounting for sales of 680 million dollars.