Oracle Leads The Pack As Converged Infrastructure Q2 Sales Surge

Oracle Exadata

Oracle, which has taken a lot of heat for its falling hardware sales, may have the last laugh as the company remains the top vendor of converged infrastructure systems, according to a new IDC report.

IDC this week reported that second quarter 2013 revenue for the worldwide integrated infrastructure and platform market grew 50.2 percent over revenue for second quarter 2012 to reach $1.3 billion.

"Integrated infrastructure and platform," IDC's term for what is more commonly referred to as converged infrastructure, was defined by the analyst firm as "pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software." Solutions missing any one of these components were not included in the survey, IDC wrote in the report.

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IDC measures converged infrastructure in two ways.

The first is what the analyst firm called integrated infrastructure, which includes the hardware pre-integrated with packaged software. This part of the market saw total sales of $539.4 million, up 21.2 percent over the second quarter of 2012.

Oracle, with its Exadata and other Exa-related appliances, was by far the largest supplier in this category, with second quarter 2013 revenue of $306 million, up 39 percent over the same period as last year. IDC said that gave Oracle a 56.7-percent share of this market segment.

The second is integrated infrastructure systems, which are designed for general-purpose, distributed workloads. IDC said sales for this segment reached $775.7 million, up 80.3 percent over last year.

Leading this segment in the second quarter is the FlexPod alliance of Cisco and NetApp with sales of $203 million, up 47 percent over the same period last year. It was followed by VCE, a joint venture of Cisco, EMC and VMware, which saw its revenue rise 35 percent to $176 million.

Following those three were the "others" category, which included such competitors as Hewlett-Packard's Converged Infrastructure, the VSPEX reference architecture from Cisco and EMC, Dell's Active Infrastructure, and IBM Flex Systems.

Kent Kellough, western area vice president at Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider and partner to Oracle and other converged infrastructure providers, said he is not surprised to see this market growing so quickly.

"It's absolutely growing fast," Kellough said. "All customers are talking about converged infrastructure, or engineered systems, or whatever vendors call it. The majority of our customers are still running on the distributed server model but are looking at going into converged infrastructure.

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At the same time, Advanced Systems Group's Kellough said, customers are looking at converged infrastructure as a base for their cloud infrastructures, whether public, private or hybrid clouds.

"Ideally, whatever converged infrastructure is put on premise allows you to burst out to the cloud, and to whatever cloud you want to use," he said.

Kellough said his company is having a lot of discussions with customers about moving to converged infrastructure. "We don't touch on specific vendors with customers when we first start talking," he said. "It could be any vendor, depending on what the customers need."

Jed Scaramella, research director for enterprise servers at IDC, said in a statement that integrated systems adoption is rapidly moving from evaluation to mainstream use, including tier-one applications.

"Progressive companies view integrated systems as a means to optimize their IT environments so IT services can be better leveraged by their business units to increase workforce productivity, drive revenue opportunities, and connect with their customers," Scaramella said.

PUBLISHED Oct. 3, 2013