According to market analysis firm IDC, the increased usage of converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions represent implementations of the software-defined infrastructure philosophy and infuse enterprise IT architectures with the “cloud-like attributes of elasticity and scalability”.
IDC Senior Research Manager, IT Services, Pushkaraksh Shanbhag says the market is at the threshold of “significant disruption in the datacentre space” with relative newcomers such as Nutanix (a hyper-converged solutions vendor) jostling for space against the giants of the software-defined world such as VMware - and the entire breadth of IT infrastructure vendors rushing to build out appealing converged and hyper-converged solutions portfolios.
In this latest report, from IDC estimates that, as the enterprise infrastructure landscape evolves rapidly and grows increasingly crowded, incompatible or immature IT asset management practices will prevent 80% of enterprises from taking full advantage of software-defined infrastructure solutions through 2016.
In noting that increasing uptake of software-defined infrastructure will transform the role of IT services providers, Shanbhag suggests that enterprises will look to IT services vendors for a wide range of services relating to SDI - consulting and advisory services for SDI-enabled strategy and roadmap, design and architecture services for software-defined enterprise environments, services around SDI implementation and managed services to help enterprises with ongoing operations.
"Among other longer-term disruptive changes, rapid adoption of SDI will negatively impact the demand for discreet infrastructure support services, while demand for premium support services around the infrastructure abstraction layer in SDI environments will see rapid growth.
Cathy Huang, IT Services CIS Program Lead, IDC Asia/Pacific says that "In the beginning of the SDI evolution, there was lots of focus on the infrastructure dimension, which meant the initial services opportunities were around network consulting and integration (NCIS).
“While NCIS is still important, there is growing interest around workload-related services, including workload design, workload virtualisation and workload migration, unified management (including applications management) and service orchestration."
"Additionally, it will allow the service providers to expand the scope and focus of datacenter services because of the automation potential throughout the control layer of the software defined datacenter," adds Huang.
IDC also says it believes that service providers will be able to deliver significant value through partnerships with infrastructure vendors, particularly those with offerings that leverage open standards such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight so they are able to provide a wider choice of standards-based, interoperable software-defined solutions to their customers while avoiding vendor lock-in.