Four factors are set to disrupt the global datacentre market by 2016 – and break it into localised pieces.
According to new Gartner research, it is expected that one incumbent datacentre provider may soon create a revolutionary margin or business model affecting partners in adjacent markets.
This will happen against a background of increasing dominance of the big cloud providers, limiting opportunities for traditional datacentre vendors; the rebalancing of the world towards the East; and nationalism versus rationalism in the context of the Snowden leaks.
Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said elements of these four factors are already in play, and will become visible no later than early 2016 – although radical action by just one significant player could accelerate the expected disruption.
"As buyers come to believe that none of the large multinational providers are trustworthy, emphasis shifts to in-country-developed technologies, and operations support systems (OSS) and hardware," he indicated.
Existing assumptions and predictions about the datacentre market rely heavily on the current base of traditional enterprise IT end users and suppliers, he noted, but things are changing and increased fragmentation is on the cards.
This will represent a new kind of economic warfare, with east against west, as well as individual states, newly divided and pitted against each other for market control, Skorupa said.
Gartner's research indicates that commercially supported OSS, perceived as more transparent, will be first affected by the related software transition.
Vendors such as Intel, AMD, Western Digital and Seagate are expected to maintain their positions for the next few years, but then it will be all change, with small, local assemblers and white-boxers grabbing more market share.
A lot of these changes will be underpinned by the increasing amount of funding available locally, particularly in the BRIC nations, as the globe moves away from a West-dominated financial system, it notes.
"These small assemblers would be unable to fully replace the economies of scale that the traditional large suppliers have benefited from in areas such as R&D, but the increasing use of open-source hardware ecosystems will help mitigate the problem," according to Gartner.
"This hardware base is complemented with locally verified embedded OSS ... In extreme cases, motherboard manufacturing becomes regional, rather than concentrated in Greater China."
Gartner's analysis indicated that software vendors will have to spend more on compatibility and interoperability, or limit the number of hardware vendors they can work with as hardware vendors multiply and localise. Infrastructure tools would also fragment as a category.
The predictions come from the report called Four Highly Disruptive Factors Will Challenge the Survival of Incumbent Datacentre Market Vendors.
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