Embedded systems could soon replace traditional servers for basic transactions, according to analysts at researcher IDC.
So-called microsystems that embed server technologies such as processors and disk drives will represent significant challenges to current server vendors, said analysts.
"Server manufacturers will be squeezed as technology becomes embedded. These could replace servers by delivering enough and acceptable performance," IDC analyst Crawford Del Prete told delegates at the researcher's StorageVision conference this week.
"Mechanism suppliers could inherit the world," he added.
Microsystems will begin to appear in the market in 2001 and unit shipments will outpace Intel's IA-64 processors by 2008, said Del Prete. Some 2.2 million microsystems will be shipped in 2002 in a market worth £11bn. More than 15 million microsystems will be shipped by 2010 mainly to be used to process low-end applications, he added.
Microsystems will initially be embedded in appliance servers that are designed for specific tasks, said Del Prete. They will be pre-configured with an embedded operating system and be non-programmable so the devices can be plugged into the network and used immediately.
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