Chinese DC suppliers to grow on anti-US sentiment: Gartner

Gartner has predicted that over the next four years, the datacentre market will see dramatic changes, including Chinese suppliers increasing their market share by 2 percent at the expense of Western companies.

Highly disruptive competition, big cloud provider dominance, economic warfare, and nationalism are four factors expected to cause dramatic changes to the datacentre market over the next two to four years, according to Gartner.

Joe Skorupa, Gartner vice president and analyst, said there are four market disruptions in play in the datacentre infrastructure market.

"Elements of them are already in play, and will become visible no later than early 2016; however, radical action by just one significant player could accelerate the market disruption of any of the factors," he said.

Skorupa has forecasted that as tensions between Eastern and Western datacentre infrastructure providers increase, the datacentre market will see a constant fluctuation from both sides as they attempt to achieve dominance in the market.

From that prediction, Gartner believes that Chinese suppliers will increase their share of the datacentre infrastructure market by 2 percent by the end of 2017 at the expense of Western companies, due to increasing anti-US sentiment.

According to Gartner, China already has various subsidised programs that are targeted to help high-tech Chinese enterprises reduce R&D costs in core electronic components, high-tech application-specific integrated circuits, and fundamental software development.

Meanwhile, the occurrence of more Snowden-like security breaches is expected to drive severe market fragmentation, Skorupa said, as buyers come to believe that none of the large multinational providers such as Intel, AMD, Western Digital, and Seagate are trustworthy.

The most recent incident was when former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents that revealed that the NSA was secretly mining data from nine US tech giants, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

Off the back of this, Yahoo has come out claiming that the US government has threatened to fine the company $250,000 daily if it refuses to comply with demands for user information from its online services.

As a result, this is expected to see a shift in an increase in-country developed technologies, and a resurgence of small, local assemblers, as they are perceived to be more transparent.

"These small assemblers would be unable to fully replace the economies of scale that the traditional large suppliers have benefited from in areas such as R&D, but the increasing use of open-source hardware ecosystems will help mitigate the problem," Skorupa said.

In Gartner's most recent forecast, global spending on datacentre hardware is predicted to reach $94.8 billion in 2014 and grow to almost $98.4 billion in 2015. In Australia alone, spending on datacentre hardware is expected to reach almost AU$1.7 billion by the end of this year, and AU$1.8 billion in 2015.

Skorupa said as high-performance rotating media becomes less important, the storage component market will shift steadily to flash, which could potentially spell the end of growth for traditional DC vendors and see big cloud providers dominate the market.

"Traditional managed service providers (MSPs) and infrastructure providers are failing to deliver compelling alternatives to platform as a service (PaaS) from Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Baidu," he said.

"MSPs are relegated to providing basic transport, or, at best, become managed service brokers. Amid this churn, traditional vendors find it increasingly hard to compete."

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