3. Converged Infrastructure Finally Went Wide
Prior to 2012, Cisco and NetApp or EMC, both in partnership with Cisco, as well as HP on a stand-alone basis, were the primary pushers of the idea of converged infrastructure, which packages and manages server, storage and networking technology in a single solution, whether it is built-to-order like a VCE Vblock or assembled in the field like a FlexPod or VSPEX.
For 2012, that changed as all the other major storage and server vendors joined the fray, including Dell's Active Infrastructure and Converged Blade Data Center (pictured) solutions, the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform from HDS, and IBM's PureSystems.
The possibility of getting a lock on the most important part of a customer's data center and cloud strategy also attracted a number of startups, such as Simplivity and its OmniCube single all-in-one appliance, and the commodity hardware approach of Yottabyte.