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The third phase of integrated systems is here

05 May 2016

Hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) will be mainstream in as little as five years, with the market already growing at an unprecedented rate of 79% and set to reach almost $2 billion in 2016.

According to Gartner, HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24% of the market, by 2019. Furthermore, although the overall integrated systems market is growing, other segments of the market will face cannibalisation from hyperconverged systems, Gartner analysts say.

Gartner defines HCIS as a platform offering shared compute and storage resources, based on software-defined storage, software-defined compute, commodity hardware and a unified management interface. Hyperconverged systems deliver their main value through software tools, commoditising the underlying hardware, Gartner says.

Speaking ahead of his keynote presentation at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations and Data Centre Summit in Sydney, Andrew Butler, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says the integrated systems market is starting to mature, with more users upgrading and extending their initial deployments.

"We are on the cusp of a third phase of integrated systems. This evolution presents IT infrastructure and operations leaders with a framework to evolve their implementations and architectures,” says Butler. 

Phase one is the peak period of blade systems (2005 to 2015), phase two marked the arrival of converged infrastructures and the advent of HCIS for specific use cases (2010 to 2020), and phase three represents continuous application and microservices delivery on HCIS platforms (2016 to 2025).

The third phase of integrated systems will deliver dynamic, composable and fabric-based infrastructures by also offering modular and disaggregated hardware building blocks, driving continuous application delivery and continuous economic optimisation.

Despite high market growth rates, HCIS use cases have so far been limited, causing silos with existing infrastructure, according to Gartner. Its progression will be dependent on multiple hardware and software advances, such as networking and software-defined enterprises.

Ultimately, the underlying infrastructure will disappear to become a malleable utility under the control of software intelligence and automated to enable IT as a service (ITaaS) to business, consumer, developer and enterprise operations.

"HCIS is not a destination, but an evolutionary journey. While we fully expect the use cases to embrace mission-critical applications in the future, current implementations could still pose constraints on rapid growth toward the end of the decade,” Butler says.

Gartner analysts will discuss integrated systems at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summits 2016 in Sydney, Australia, as well as America and England.

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