Commodity server shipments are booming but there is a sting in the tail for specialist vendors, who are seeing their hardware sales cannibalised.
Instead of buying storage arrays or network appliances, for example, tech customers are buying or developing specialist software that runs on cheap boxes. So there is more than hype to that converged infrastructure thing that the big tech vendors are banging on about.
The "disrupters" also include hyperscale cloud operators such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which are at the forefront of this move to software-defined infrastructure.
This trend is significant enough to overcome the downward effect on sales of increased take-up for server virtualisation and containerisation.
So says the tech analyst firm Dell’Oro Group in a report that forecasts server shipment growth for the next five years.
And what impact will cannibalising software-defined systems have on other markets? Dell’Oro is unwilling to speculate too much, but Sameh Boujelbene, a director at the firm, says in a canned quote that the "degree to which other specialized equipment will be cannibalized, and the degree to which enterprise users will adopt software-defined systems, will depend on software development. We are seeing significant vendor activity in specialized software development, but one clear trend is that it is boosting server shipments”. ®