10 Reasons Storage Is Anything but Boring
With the rapid pace of IT innovation, agile infrastructure and the need for data to be close to customers and employees wherever they are, not much in this industry is boring. In the data center, that means servers, networking and storage.
Focusing on how people are thinking about storage today, there are some big trends to consider — there’s hybrid cloud, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), software-defined storage (SDS), adoption of solid-state drives (SSDs), data everywhere, backup, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and so on.
And we know that the infrastructure of yesterday won’t be adequate for things like the internet of things (IoT), mobile computing, social media, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“They require more agility than the static infrastructures of the past, which I think is one reason why cloud has done so well,” Eric Burgener, research vice president, infrastructure systems, platform and technologies at IDC, told Channel Futures. “Users can spin up technology for a short-term project, if they want to, without having to buy the infrastructure, and shut it down once the project is done, and stop paying for it.”
Tony Pompliano, president and chief executive officer at Anexio, says customers are migrating from premises-based storage to virtualized cloud storage with hyperscale cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, Google and SoftLayer, an IBM company — in addition to niche players like Anexio that compete with them Anexio offers IaaS, including colocation, networking and storage.
“Customers favor opex versus capex models,” he said. “[Opex] eliminates the procurement of hardware and software, licensing and warranty tracking, and installation and support of expensive equipment.”
He also said that with storage requirements growing exponentially, due to things like big data, IoT and compliance, it’s difficult for customers to make forecasts, budget and plan.
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“Cloud solutions allow customers to ramp up and down based on demand, and pay based on a variable cost model.”
Today, the data center is being constructed in a hybrid cloud manner — some applications are kept in the data center and are managed directly, while others are sourced from the cloud. Security, performance, and compliance or regulatory requirements are criteria driving the on-premises-or-cloud decision.
Burgener told us that over the past four to five years, there’s been a slow migration to cloud, but by mid-2017, almost 73 percent of all enterprises were running hybrid-cloud environments. That figure is only expected to go up.
“This isn’t a coming thing, it’s the way companies build data centers today,” he said.
David J. Cappuccio, research vice president at Gartner, wrote a blog in July with the title, “The Data Center is Dead.” Gartner’s planning assumption is that by 2025, 80 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers — compared to just 10 percent today.
Happening at the same time, and impacting the way businesses think about storage infrastructure, is the diminished interest in buying storage hardware and the growing interest in SDS.
Storage technology is also experiencing the migration toward the use of persistent memory media. On a timeline that looks at how storage has changed, there’s the move from storage arrays built from spinning disk drives, to flash, to persistent memory media and, more recently, next-gen high performance storage, or storage cloud memory (SCM).
IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker shows that vendor revenue in the worldwide enterprise systems market increased more than 21 percent year over year to $13.2 billion during the second quarter of 2018. Total capacity shipments were up nearly 71 percent — to almost 112 exabytes during the quarter.
“Strong [second quarter] growth was driven by an ongoing infrastructure refresh cycle, investments in next-generation workloads, expanded use in public cloud services and data-driven initiatives,” said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, infrastructure platforms and technologies at IDC.
He chalks up storage revenue growth to the growing data economy, with businesses of all sizes investing in platforms that support their need to ingest, process and disseminate large volumes of data cost-effectively and without introducing new risks to the business.
In the slide show above, we look at 10 trends that make storage anything but boring.