Converged infrastructure has definitely crossed the chasm. Almost half of organizations (46%) report they are already using a converged infrastructure stack, and 44% are planning or considering adoption.
Converged infrastructure opportunities for solution providers span almost every vertical. Finance and technology companies, as usual, lead with 34.5% and 17.9%, respectively. Education comes in third, at 7.1 %. When it comes to consideration, manufacturing jumps from 3.6% to 8.6 %.
The benefits of converged infrastructure are tough to ignore. More efficient provisioning of resources (70%) and more agility (66%) were the top reasons to shift to converged infrastructure, followed by lower operating costs, at 63%.
Virtualization forces the converged infrastructure issue. In fact, 58% cited the adoption of VMware as the initiative to drive their adoption, while 33.8% attributed the shift to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) technology.
Big data and custom applications create a new source of demand. While VMware still drives the need for new projects, at 30.1%, big data and custom applications ranked second (23.3%) and third (21.9%).
Blade server density is on the rise. Almost half (49.5%) are running 17 or more blades per server. Nine to 16 blades are being deployed by 36.8%.
Inertia remains a powerful IT force. A full 41.2% said their existing IT infrastructure works just fine.
Multiple teams within the IT organization are driving converged infrastructure adoption. Almost 60% said the server team is in charge. The virtualization team was cited by 52.6%.
The internal IT organization will be run by “data center engineers” with multiple skills. IT organizations plan to increase virtualization, server and networking staffing, but a full 70% expect to have a dedicated converged infrastructure unit by 2015.
Cisco and Hewlett-Packard generally face off most when it comes to converged infrastructure. Cisco UCS leads (64.6%), followed by Hewlett-Packard (58.2%), NetApp FlexPod (48.1%) and VCE Vblock (45.6%). However, 41.8% said they are considering building their own.
When Cisco UCS is added to NetApp FlexPod or VCE Vblock, Cisco dominates the category. Cisco UCS leads at 57%, followed by Hewlett-Packard at 41.8%.
There is a strong desire to build best-of-breed systems. A full 46.9% are still thinking about building their own, followed by 37% and 25.9% who are considering Cisco and Hewlett-Packard.
VMware extends virtual machine dominance into management. VMware vCloud leads at 44%, followed by Puppet Labs at 32% and homegrown scripts at 29.3%.
OpenStack gains a lot of mindshare. VMware vCloud still leads at 30.5%, but OpenStack is already at 29.2%, followed by Cisco at 20.8%.
No one tool dominates converged infrastructure. Half the respondents are using multiple tools they already own followed by 46.1% citing tools supplied by converged infrastructure vendors.
Of the early adopters, 78.7% cite improved productivity and 73.3% report improved customer satisfaction.