Taiwan makers eye one-stop cloud computing
Makers are leveraging capability in hardware, storage and systems integration to deliver cloud-ready equipment.
Taiwan companies are shifting focus to cloud computing to move out of the slow-growing desktop PC segment and improve profit margins. They are increasing shipments of power supplies, storage equipment, thermal solutions and chassis to secure position in the line, which is foreseen to expand rapidly in the next decade.
The emergence of the private cloud will be the key driver, with the application base comprising client devices, telecom and wireless electronics. Global sales of private cloud servers will hit $11.8 billion by 2014 from $8.2 billion in 2009, according to IDC.
To grab a chunk of the market, local makers are leveraging expertise in hardware to supply private cloud networks in education, transportation, medical/healthcare and entertainment. They aim to offer one-stop-shop solutions in the near future. These will also cover software and services.
Chassis suppliers such as In Win are starting to concentrate on servers. Chenbro Micom, a major maker of servers and industrial computer chassis, underscores customization. It offers mechanical and electrical solutions, including thermal systems and noise reduction equipment.
There are also manufacturers providing thermal and power systems, including CPU heat spreaders and fans with heat sinks.
In terms of networking, companies tap competence in fiber-optic, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and 3G technologies. For storage, they present management and space upgrades, and automated tiering, and achieve thin provisioning adopting mainly VMware and Citrix solutions. There are also businesses such as Infortrend that can design their own UI software management packages.
The island is establishing the Taiwan Cloud Valley Center in Taipei in cooperation with Microsoft, Intel and Trend Micro. The hub aims to gather new cloud computing businesses, and form hardware and software clusters that are linked to other such industrial parks.
In addition, the Industrial Technology Research Institute is developing a Cloud OS, which is a kind of IaaS in a computer container. This is to create standards for building data centers within a 6.1m shipping container that will be easier to manage and will cost less. The all-in-one solution uses server, systems integration and power supply technologies, which will be passed on to Taiwan makers.
The worldwide production value of cloud computing is expected to reach $25.9 billion this year, $4 billion of which will come from the private cloud market, according to the Topology Research Institute. Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google and salesforce.com are considered the major service providers.
North America will still be the main market, taking up 56 percent of overall revenue during the period.
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