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Bare metal can come back, says Gartner, citing VMware prices • The Register

Bare metal can come back, says Gartner, citing VMware prices • The Register
Bare metal can come back, says Gartner, citing VMware prices • The Register


Analyst firm Gartner has published its 2024 Hype Cycle for Data Center Infrastructure Technologies, and added physical-to-virtual migrations – aka “devirtualization” – to its list of ideas that are set to take off, thanks to Broadcom’s licensing changes.

“As on-premises virtualization projects move from [enterprise license agreement] ELA and perpetual licenses to new bundling, socket-to-core ratios and consumption models, the costs and pricing can increase two or three times,” the Hype Cycle opines.

Those costs are hard to justify for some large workloads, which Gartner wrote “do not benefit from the same density increases and cost savings as consolidating small workloads.”

Devirtualization can therefore help, Gartner argues – with plenty of caveats about the cost and complexity of acquiring and operating bare metal systems that offer the same resilience as a virtualized environment.

The Hype Cycle rates devirtualization as currently applicable to one percent of orgs, but rates it as five-to-ten years away from reaching the “plateau of productivity” at which technologies are mature.

Migrating to new hypervisors – which Gartner terms “revirtualization” or virtual to virtual migration – is rated a tech that has reached peak hype as it is applicable to between five and twenty percent of organizations.

Again, VMware’s licensing changes are mentioned as a driver.

“Revirtualization is typically undertaken to overcome a technical deficiency or to address a viability or commercial risk,” the hype cycle explains, adding that such efforts could “increase total cost of ownership, introduce immature administrative and management tooling, create additional operational burden or reliability concerns.”

But Gartner thinks those risks might be worth it as they are “intended to offset exposure to increased audit and contractual issues arising from incumbent providers moving to subscription models.”

Other technologies rated as “on the rise” in this hype cycle are:

  • Emerging memory technologies – Gartner feels magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) and resistive random access memory (ReRAM) could help scale complex applications;
  • Network digital twins – The increasing complexity of networks means having an offline model will be useful to test changes – Gartner believes this tech could improve delivery times for requests by 20 percent;
  • Off-grid power – Essentially privately owned generators yoked to datacenters reduce dependency on the grid, to ensure it’s possible to expand. Hydrogen-powered datacenters also made the rising techs list, nuclear fusion rated a mention for its potential to provide “abundant and affordable energy,” and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors are also seen as a tech to watch;
  • Augmented reality in the datacenter – Gartner thinks tech that “provides technicians with real-time data visualization, remote guidance and interactive 3D models to facilitate complex tasks and maintenance processes” can reduce the time needed for troubleshooting and repairs, and make manuals redundant.

Among the technologies rated as having reached peak hype are circular economies in IT, net-zero datacenters, consumption-based models for on-prem and hybrid IT, and direct-to-chip (D2C) liquid cooling.

Edge computing is in trouble, Gartner believes, as the analyst firm rates it as sliding into the trough of disillusionment – the point at which a tech has failed to deliver on its promise.

Infrastructure automation is also sliding, as is immersion cooling. Hybrid servers tuned for double duty – running information technology and operational technology workloads – are also disappointing buyers, as is composable infrastructure.

Tech ideas that are starting to come good and climb the slope to the plateau of productivity include immutable infrastructure – architectural patterns that are never changed to enhance manageability and security – and software-defined infrastructure. ®

Bare metal can come back, says Gartner, citing VMware prices • The Register

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