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Software-Defined Compute

What began as virtualization of servers has expanded into a far more wide-reaching approach to software-defined control over server hardware resources. Virtualization has transitioned into a mainstream technology in today's datacenters and is widely used to increase hardware utilization as well as lower server operational costs in the datacenter. Virtualized infrastructures are proving to be an on-ramp and foundation for cloud computing, whether public or private. In addition, containers have emerged, reinvented by Docker, as a disruptive technology that often works in conjunction with VMs and cloud system software. Containers are also the technological glue that connects developers and infrastructure admins who are pursuing DevOps methodologies. IDC's Software-Defined Compute is about not only the virtualization of the underlying server and OS resources but also API enabling the entire infrastructure into a malleable and programmable instrument needed for tomorrow's agile cloud.

Markets and Subjects Analyzed

  • Server virtualization
  • Multi-hypervisor deployments
  • Cloud system software (private/public cloud–enabling software)
  • Container-based virtualization such as Docker, LXD, LXC, rkt, Virtuozzo-OpenVZ, and Solaris Zones
  • Container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes, Mesos-DCOS, and Docker Swarm-Datacenter
  • Cloud system software platforms such as OpenStack, CloudStack, Microsoft Azure Stack, VMware vCloud, and Eucalyptus
  • The synergies, integration, and overlap between server virtualization, containers, and cloud system software
  • IaaS private clouds
  • Connecting on-premises virtualized, containerized, or cloud infrastructure to public clouds (hybrid cloud)

Core Research

  • Worldwide Software-Defined Compute Market Shares and Forecast
  • Worldwide Virtual Machine Software Market Shares and Forecast
  • Worldwide Cloud System Software Market Shares and Forecast
  • Worldwide Container Infrastructure Software Market Shares and Forecast
  • Cloud System Software Technology and Usage
  • Container Infrastructure Software Technology and Usage
  • Virtual Machine Software Technology and Usage

In addition to the insight provided in this service, IDC may conduct research on specific topics or emerging market segments via research offerings that require additional IDC funding and client investment.

Key Questions Answered

  1. How is OpenStack evolving, and what impact will it have on the private cloud market?
  2. How is KVM evolving, and is it capturing more market share? What is the future for Xen?
  3. Is Hyper-V gaining traction, and is Microsoft competing effectively with VMware?
  4. What virtualization and software-defined solutions are moving into the firmware, hardware, software, and management layers, and what impact will those changes have on virtualization and cloud infrastructure?
  5. Will containers replace or supplement VMs?
  6. How do containers integrate with hypervisors and cloud system software?
  7. How are enterprises adopting containers, and how do containers impact enterprise infrastructure?
  8. What platforms are enterprises deploying to orchestrate containers?
  9. What is the market size and five-year forecast for virtualization, containers, and cloud system software?
  10. How do next-generation, cloud-native applications drive infrastructure software choices?

Related Links

Meet the Experts
Gary Chen

Research Director, Software Defined Compute