With converged infrastructure paving the way for cloud computing and an entirely new way of building the future data center, the above-described web of entangling alliances and “frienemy” relationships is bound to make for a colorful next couple of years.
Some possibilities to watch for:
* More mergers and acquisitions: Brocade and NetApp come to mind as potential targets, but there are a host of smaller companies which could help larger vendors fill out their converged infrastructure strategy.
* Price wars: There's nothing like dropping prices as a way to get customers to consider alternatives to their current suppliers.
* Inertia: Customers HATE to change their primary IT vendors, regardless of price, forcing vendors to work hard for their converged infrastructure business.
No matter what happens, the data center will be an exciting market for years to come.