The global compute and storage infrastructure market for telecom providers is expected to reach $16.3 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period (2018-2023), according to the leading research firm IDC (International Data Corporation). The market was sized at around $10.81 billion in 2017.
The enterprises are rapidly shifting to software-defined infrastructure where the workloads run virtualized or containerized on hardware platforms. According to IDC, this shift is visible maximum in the telecom industry where the telcos are converting their entire datacenters from vertically integrated stacks to software-defined infrastructure.
This trend is expected to continue as the telecommunications providers seek to expand their footprints on initiatives like mobile media delivery, edge computing, internet of things (IoT), connected devices, etc.
Primary reasons for shifting to software-defined infrastructure are that the legacy business models and regulations don’t guarantee revenue growth, and initiatives like 5G or rich media delivery via mobile platforms can’t be provided using legacy platforms.
“Telecoms are the forefront of the innovation curve. The shift to a software-defined infrastructure enables them to focus on innovation, drive operations costs down, and continue to differentiate based on the uniqueness of their products and services,” said Ashish Nadkarni, IDC group VP for infrastructure systems, platforms and technology.
“Initiatives such as 5G or rich media delivery via mobile platforms cannot be delivered via legacy platforms that are rigid, have scaling challenges, and require months of planning to scale efficiently.”
The telcos globally are focusing on strengthening their in-house software development efforts using open source stacks. They are collaborating with integrators and public cloud services providers to make their datacenter software-defined. They are not only moving the applications, but also the network function workloads onto a virtualized infrastructure.
IDC said that the telcos want a single infrastructure platform that can support current and new generation business applications that can run interchangeably in virtual machines, containers, and bare metal.