The market for compute and storage infrastructure for telecommunications providers will reach US$16.3 billion in 2022 as a result of a steady 6.2 per cent annual growth, according to recent data released by IDC.
The research firm noticed the shift to software-defined infrastructure is happening at an unprecedented pace, especially in the telecommunications industry as telcos convert entire data centres from vertically integrated stacks to software-defined infrastructure.
This is compared to the updated market share for 2017, which was sized at US$10.8 billion by IDC.
"Telecoms are the forefront of the innovation curve," IDC group vice president for infrastructure systems, platforms and technology Ashish Nadkarni said.
"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."
According to IDC, in an industry where legacy business models and regulations can no longer guarantee revenue growth, telecoms must stay ahead of the competition by upping their ante on innovation and, like most enterprises, driving costs down.
"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."
Communications service providers worldwide have focused on strengthening in-house software development efforts using open source stacks, partnering with integrators to convert their data centres to be software defined, sponsoring and participating in industrywide infrastructure consortiums, and making a concerted effort to move not just applications, but also network function workloads onto a virtualised (containerised) infrastructure, according to IDC.
"They are shifting to a single infrastructure platform that supports current and new generation telecom-specific as well as business applications that can run interchangeably in virtual machines, containers, and bare metal. Telecoms have ushered in a model for flexible and scalable consumption of compute, storage, and networking resources," IDC stated.