The software-defined capabilities of hyper-converged platforms are helping organizations overcome challenges related to internal IT processes and infrastructure management, according to the latest market study by Technology Business Research (TBR).
With strong budgets allocated for future hyper-converged purchases, TBR estimates a $10.6 billion U.S. addressable market over the next 12 months.
"IT customers are smashing into roadblocks with traditional server and storage infrastructure. But they are finding quickly that there are alternatives that provide improved efficiency and better management," said Christian Perry, principal analyst at TBR.
Hyper-converged platforms take converged infrastructure to the next level of streamlined, virtualized solutions, and customers are adopting for a wide range of use cases. According to the TBR assessment, these initial deployments represent tremendous opportunity for vendors across hardware, open source software and related professional services.
TBR believes alternate infrastructures -- such as hyper-converged platforms -- are quickly growing more acceptable in all sizes of IT organizations. Customers continually point to challenges with complexity and burdensome management, particularly in environments with heavy storage requirements.
These storage-centric challenges provide vendors of hyper-converged platforms with an edge over vendors of stand-alone infrastructure and traditional converged systems, as many hyper-converged platforms are built to improve the performance and management of storage-centric workloads.
But while IT buyers are more open to purchasing these infrastructures, they still rely heavily on the vendor to help them with the technology -- from the rollout through ongoing management. Customers expect hyper-converged rollouts will be streamlined and quick, but many point to time and resource investment as a surprising sticking point.
As a result, customers are also buying professional services from the vendor, to help them reduce the burden on their in-house IT staff.
"A mere 11 percent of customers told us they did not purchase any services with their hyper-converged platform, so the opportunity is strong for services bundling. In fact, for every dollar spent on hyper-converged platforms, customers are spending $1.07 on services, and these are services spanning everything from integration and implementation to break/fix support," according to Perry.
Although customers are generally satisfied with their hyper-converged platforms, room for improvement exists, and professional consulting services can help customers overcome at least some of these challenges.
For example, some customers expressed the unexpected need for technical training of internal staff to work with or manage the systems. However, another issue is customer unfamiliarity with hyper-converged platforms vendors due to the nascence of the overall market. TBR believes vendors can expand customer mind-share with messaging that targets IT challenges and business requirements directly.