Server and virtualization business trends to watch in 2021
2021/10/18 Angela Scott-Briggs
There are many different trends in data center technology, which can make it difficult to keep up with the latest requirements. There is always something new and exciting popping up. But what are the latest trends? What’s changing in 2021?
A lot of people think server virtualization is outdated, but in 2021 it will still be very much around. One of the most important trends to watch for is software-defined infrastructure. It’s already popular, but it will continue to grow in popularity over the next few years.
Here are some other trends to watch for when looking at server and virtualization business trends in 2021.
1) Enterprises prefer hybrid cloud infrastructure
Throughout 2020, an increasingly large number of businesses adopted hybrid cloud technology, and many more plan to do so in 2021 and beyond. Enterprises, in particular, are embracing hybrid cloud technology to gain greater agility and mobility.
The idea of cloud providers delivering multiple services (compute, storage, network, and data services) in the form of a single package appeals to them, and this has helped solidify hybrid cloud technology as a requirement for IT operations.
A move to a fully hybrid cloud infrastructure—one in which customers are not only using public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) but also implementing private clouds and a mixture of public and private clouds—is the logical next step for many organizations.
2) Bare metal servers (bare metal infrastructure) will gain popularity
Low-cost commercial bare metal servers have been steadily rising in popularity in the second half of 2021 but will find their strongest markets in the web hosting, hosting, and cloud computing sectors.
Because virtualization is likely to be more complicated than traditional servers, dedicated bare metal servers will have a strong advantage over virtualized servers in terms of ease of operation.
The advantages of bare metal cloud servers will also prove useful to some private cloud providers, which may install a single server and load it up with virtual machine workloads on demand for the end client.
3) Server virtualization is expected to be mainstreamed
Many companies have found themselves needing server virtualization throughout the pandemic and the rise of remote work, and cloud computing. Using a hybrid approach that integrates virtualization, cloud, and more traditional computing solutions has become the norm for most enterprises.
Whether it’s a proprietary solution like Hyper-V and VMware, a solution based on open standards like OpenStack, or a different approach like KVM, containers, or Google’s Cloud Native Application Engine, this is a space with significant momentum and growth. It’s an area where each of the players – HPE, IBM, Cisco, Dell, Oracle, HP, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware – all have strong positions.
4) Advanced security is growing faster in servers and systems.
As the number of remote workers continues to climb, so does the risk of viable cyberattacks on corporations. Modern businesses have a wide range of remote workers, and those workers, along with the device they use, are vulnerable to security issues.
This is a key concern for server providers, and most continue to invest in security measures and products. Some of the latest cybersecurity trends to emerge in 2021 include things like:
- Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
- Secure Access Service Access (SASE)
- Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)
- Zero Trust Platforms
- Fileless Frameworks
5) Edge computing will start to see liftoff
Devices moving closer to the point of application access, processing and delivery will require new kinds of capabilities that were not needed before. Edge computing, in which a local compute node, edge gateway, or other compute element is set up to handle compute-intensive activity close to the data source, is expected to see major gains throughout 2021, and see some major liftoff in 2022.
Markets for edge computing will include verticals such as supply chain and retail, and the edge can enable new business models and revenue streams for application vendors and system integrators.
The devices that are most often seen as edge nodes in the context of edge computing tend to be low-power and low-cost IoT devices such as sensors and electronic logs. Edge computing vendors and service providers will bring services to edge networks, based on their commitment to systems integration, interoperability, standards support, and vendor enablement.