IDC-LogoGuest Blogger: Jed Scaramella, IDC Research Director, Servers and Datacenters


Over the past several months Cisco, Dell, HP and other vendors have introduced a new category of servers called composable infrastructure. These subsystems are based on disaggregated server architecture. In a new video series and an IDC paper I explain what is driving the demand for composable infrastructure, how it is designed and managed and the benefits for customers.

What is Driving Demand for Composable Infrastructure?

Cisco and other vendors have introduced a new class of servers that are referred to as composable infrastructure. These servers are a software-defined infrastructure that is no longer bound by the server chassis; they are based on a disaggregated subsystem. This architecture goes beyond traditional blade and rack servers. It allows customers to optimize their infrastructure based on the unique demands of applications and workloads.

Through this infrastructure evolution storage and networking are decoupled from the processor and memory. The infrastructure resources are dynamically composed (provisioned and configured on demand) through intelligent management software to support the unique requirements of applications and workloads. This means greater business agility, lower operational costs and better application performance.

The demand for composable infrastructure is driven by the broader industry shift to what IDC refers to as the 3rd Platform. The 3rd Platform is the growing adoption of what Cisco and other vendors call the Internet of Things or Internet of Everything where computing and IT resources becomes ubiquitous (see Figure 1 below). This transition is generating new applications and workloads that drive the demand for composable infrastructure.

Figure 1: Transition from 2nd Platform to 3rd Platform (Image source: IDC)

IDC 2nd to 3rd Platform

In the first of a five-part series of short videos that were developed with Cisco, I explain the unique characteristics of these new applications and why composable infrastructure is necessary to support them. In the other videos in this series, I provide my independent view of composable infrastructure, the customer benefits and what to consider as you evaluate this new class of server products and the associated management software.

Below is the first video in the series titled, ‘Demand for Composable Infrastructure’


I have also written a paper entitled, ‘Orchestrating Efficiency with Composable Infrastructure’. You can download the paper by clicking here.

This is a fascinating topic that will have significant implications for the future of IT and your data center. I hope you find the paper and video series interesting.


Jed Scaramella

IDC Research Director, Servers and Data Center



Melanie Kraintz

No Longer with Cisco