A couple of my colleagues, Mark Bowker and Perry Laberis, recently published a Market Landscape Report about Integrated Computing Platforms. The report goes into a lot of detail on what the components are (management software, compute, storage, & network), who the players are (12 of them), how they are categorized, and what they offer. Interesting to note that the number of VMs supported ranges from 100 to 12,000 and I suspect those numbers will continue to climb over time.
In contrast, the software world seems to be headed in the opposite direction when it comes to convergence. Every week there seems to be a new announcement for a new piece of the software puzzle. The software-defined products continue to be announced for all three components of the infrastructure stack, the management elements alone number at least 10 different functions for cloud service management (detailed in my Cloud Service Management market summary report), and the major cloud eco-systems continue to add modules/functionality.
All is not dire as there are several companies working very hard at building the converged software infrastructure that starts at the virtualization layer up through the guest/appliance OS to the management layer. Companies that are headed down this path include Canonical, Red Hat, Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, Dell, HP, IBM, Mirantis, Piston Cloud, Cloudscaling, Rackspace, Cisco, Tier 3, and many others (sorry if I didn’t include everyone). Some open source, some proprietary, some a mix. In the end I hope what we end up with are converged software running on converged infrastructure – providing out-of-the-box, near zero time-to-provision IaaS kinda like what AWS does today.