Research conducted by market intelligence firm IDC has revealed that the IT consolidation market is expected to grow 6.5% between 2004 and 2009, from $18.1bn to $24.7bn, outpacing overall growth of the IT market.
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HP commissioned the market forecast and figures reveal growth trends for storage, servers, infrastructure software and services. According to the report, infrastructure software for consolidation is expected to grow 13.1%, more than twice the rate of the underlying IT consolidation market. In part, HP says the growth reflects an increasing acceptance of the need for, and benefits of, virtualisation and centralised management.
IDC also found that consolidation will play a significant role in driving server and storage sales, with server consolidation's share of the overall server revenue predicted to grow to 12.6% in 2009 (up from 9.5% in 2004). Similarly, the storage consolidation market is expected to grow to 17.3% (an increase of 13.9% in 2004).
Furthermore, consolidation will occur in heterogeneous environments: Linux, 14.4%; Windows, 9.8%; Unix, 1.2%. Linux represents an emerging growth opportunity for consolidation, particularly for servers and software (22.% and 22.0%, respectively).
The need for IT consolidation and its underlying technologies have gained widespread acceptance in recent years. "The issue isn't whether or not companies will consolidate. The issue is approach," said Matthew Eastwood, vice president, IDC. "This research indicates that the sooner companies embrace IT consolidation as a core business strategy, the sooner they will be able to achieve the kind of flexible and dynamic infrastructure that helps solve business problems like increasing revenue and satisfying customers."