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Gartner Predicts Appliance Deployment Space to Grow

December 19, 2012


Gartner (News - Alert) recently released its list of the top 10 disruptive trends for enterprises over the next five years.

“Scattered throughout the forecast were the ‘cascading’ effects of dealing with enterprise data, with a few storage and network approaches rising to the top,” noted Justin Kern for the Information Management blog.

Two of the trends on the list were virtual data centers and hybrid cloud services.

The hybrid cloud is developing into a place for general purpose services such as test development and back office systems, with IT required to make sure there is integration and guaranteed service levels, noted Kern.

An offshoot of increased hybrid deployments and the general trend toward virtualization and virtual data centers also is growing rapidly. Gartner predicts that the data center might soon look like just another resource.

These two trends may lead to what Gartner calls “appliance madness.” As configuration and deployment become even simpler, enterprises will increasingly opt to pile on more layers of service. Expect appliance use to continue growing.

But piling on layers will present integration issues down the line, according to Gartner’s VP, David Cappuccio.

“Eventually, it keeps on building to the point where this is a lot more complexity than we realized, and we still need to manage,” he said.

This presents an opportunity for firms such as NEI (News - Alert), which provide purpose-built application platforms, appliances and lifecycle deployment services. NEI’s partnership with Lightspeed Systems is a recent example of this trend.

Lightspeed, which provides low-cost Web filtering solutions, sought to develop its Bottle Rocket (News - Alert) filtering appliance that targets school districts and uses up to an average of 150 Mb of sustained bandwidth.

“Lightspeed was faced with a challenge when the company chose to provide an advanced line of appliances for Bottle Rocket, a process that would be difficult given the difficulties associated with appliance-based software development,” noted Michelle Amodio, in an earlier report for TMCnet.

NEI, with its expertise in appliance development, was able to step into the breach and eliminate the need for months of development.

“NEI helped us bring the Bottle Rocket to market in a matter of weeks,” said Rob Chambers, vice president of Product Development for Lightspeed. “It was important to Lightspeed that we work with a company that had considerable experience and expertise in appliance development and could address both the hardware and software issues that we knew would arise during this process.”

While appliance mania may become a challenge down the road, opportunities currently abound in the appliance segment.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

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