Virtualization, cloud, consolidation invigorate the data center market

New reports from Infonetics Research offer good news for data center markets around the world.

A new study conducted by market research and consulting firm Infonetics Research indicates that in the next few years, telcos, cable operators, data center specialists and colocation providers are planning to expand.

Infonetics surveyed 19 major providers that have data centers with 100 or more servers for the report, Data Center Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey. Combined, the respondents represent 20 percent of the world’s carrier revenue and 20 percent of the world’s telecom capex and hail from North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Asia Pacific.

The study found that cloud services, virtualization technologies and new networking fabrics are driving the expansion. Another finding: the average number of data centers will grow during the next two years, with the most growth occurring among large and super-sized data centers. (Interesting that in order to offer and capture market share of next-gen computing models that promise to streamline operations and reduce infrastructure footprints, operators have to grow their legions of data centers).

Nonetheless, the study found that virtualization and network convergence will enable these operators to grow sustainably to meet the demand for cloud services. Moreover, the top 2 data center application strategies planned by respondents include running applications on a fully virtualized infrastructure and replicating applications and data across data centers based on demand.

Infonetics analyst Sam Barnett, who conducts data center and cloud research for Infonetics, said in a prepared statement that the expansion is really about a quest for revenue. “Service providers seeking to bolster their financial picture and gain a piece of the cloud service revenue pie are leveraging a captive customer base and expanding data center offerings to include virtualization technologies and even new networking facilities like Fibre Channel over Ethernet.”

Infonetics also recently announced a new quarterly Data Center Network Equipment report that reveals market growth. The research firm reports that global revenue for data center network equipment is up 12 percent sequentially in the third quarter of 2011, with all segments posting growth, including general purpose, purpose-built and blade data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers (ADCs) and WAN optimization appliances. The data center network equipment market is also up 12 percent year-over-year (compared with third quarter 2010).

The North American data center equipment market had the strongest regional performance (up 16 percent sequentially) in the third quarter of 2011; Asia’s sequential growth slowed significantly but remains up an astounding 39% year-over-year; and Europe’s third quarter 2011 results are positive after a dismal second quarter and despite continued economic concerns in that region.

In a prepared statement, Barnett said the growth clearly indicates the market is on the path to convergence. “The resurgence in data center upgrades, virtualization, and data/storage/traffic growth bodes well for all categories in the data center network equipment market. Once final 2011 figures are in, we expect the market to be up about 6% over 2010, and we expect growth to nudge back up into double-digit percent territory in 2012," Barnett said.

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