TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research, released its latest servers and virtualization study, which shows spending on infrastructure slowing over the next two years as attention shifts to software defined data centers. Cloud platforms stand out as the hottest technology for adoption in the next two years, followed by the management and automation functions required for production and virtualized data centers.  

Other highlights from the TheInfoPro Servers and Virtualization Study include:

  • Server virtualization projects are still driving spending, but the virtualization server spending bubble has burst and the majority of customers expect to be, at best, in a steady-state purchasing environment for the foreseeable future.
  • There is an overall slowdown in spending expected in 2014 compared with 2013 across all infrastructure technologies, but the standout in both years is the x86 rack-format server, with 35% of respondents projecting less spending in this area in 2013 and 41% in 2014.
  • Integrated infrastructure offerings are now gaining strong acceptance in their various forms. General purpose offerings include unified computing and converged infrastructure, which are currently in use by 32% and 17% of respondents, respectively. In the next two years, a further 10% and 16% of respondents will be actively considering each of these technologies. 
  • Micro servers, which are making a bid to become the next generation of server architectures for scale-out workloads, have yet to gain any noticeable market traction, but are receiving some attention for possible future deployment by 5% of respondents.
  • Server professionals are switching their attention to the software required to run cloud-ready data centers, with spending increasing across the board in 2014 as compared with 2013, almost the exact opposite of the situation for infrastructure technologies.
  • In 2013, the highest spending areas are focused on the management and automation of virtualized data centers. For 2014, cloud platforms jumped to the top of the pack with 30% planning increased spending.
  • From the infrastructure vendor perspective, Cisco, EMC, HP, Oracle, and VCE stand out as the vendors with the most upside opportunity for integrated infrastructure. For solid-state disk EMC, Fusion-io, and server vendors Dell, HP, and IBM get mentions.
  • With cloud platforms leading the software heat index, VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, and OpenStack all receive attention. For data center management and automation functions VMware and Microsoft receive the most frequent mentions with BMC Software, CA, HP and ServiceNow also gaining noteworthy attention.

"As organizations move beyond virtualization of production workloads, attention is shifting towards the management and automation of the software defined datacenter," said Peter ffoulkes, TheInfoPro's research director for servers and virtualization. "Over the next two years, the foundations for enterprise cloud computing will be deployed with cloud platforms standing out as the hottest technology and the most critical strategic decision to be made."

Published in November 2013, TheInfoPro study identifies the key data center infrastructure initiatives of leading organizations while examining market factors and major players. This annual study is based on extensive live interviews with IT professionals and primary decision-makers at large and midsize enterprises in North America and Europe.

ffoulkes will host a 451 Research Innovation Series webinar on December 5th to discuss the report's findings. Webinar details: