By Simon Murphy
It is shaping up to be another cracker year for the storage industry so grab your popcorn and settle in for the show.
Public cloud continues to gobble up data like a fat kid at a buffet. The perennial contenders can only strap on the gloves and duke it out for supremacy of what remains of the on-premises storage market. There have been some casualties and there are certainly more to come (more on that in a later post).
The traditional storage vendors are under siege. The new kids on the block (Pure, Nimble, Tintri et al.) are eating away at the traditional primary storage use cases. They are using their all-flash trickery, slick UI’s and cloud integrated antics. Meanwhile the hyper-converged pace setters are further attacking the fringe and ROBO deployments. To add to the misery, the public cloud giants are unrelenting in their desire to consume the world's data. They are predicted to achieve a 30% CAGR over the coming years.
So where is it all going for the storage industry? My tarot cards have given me the following predictions for the remainder of 2016:
- Keep it simple, stupid – to survive, vendors will need to ensure that their products are slick, easy to set up and a doddle to administer. Operational budgets are flat. No-one wants a three-month design and implementation phase for their storage refresh project anymore. Rightly so. Bespoke, complex storage solutions are out, and pre-integrated, appliance based solutions are in. It’s all about consumer interfaces for enterprise technology.
- Green is gold – spinning disk-based storage systems are so passé. Flash has now reached the density and price/performance thresholds that means the TCO is hard to ignore. Flash systems will continue to have a higher acquisition cost in 2016. The ROI will come in come in years 2 and 3. And if you like hugging trees, you can sleep well knowing that you are playing your part in reducing IT energy consumption.
- Hyper-what? – yes, it’s a real thing, and you know it is legit when Cisco enters the market. Hyper-Converged systems will continue to grow in popularity, particularly for the edge use case. Be wary though, as not all vendors and solutions are equal.
- Cloud Aware – cloud integration will continue to be a key differentiator. Nimble and Pure Storage have set the bar with their cloud based analytics platforms. These are driving further simplification in the datacentre
- Backup 2.0 – just when you’ve got your head around converged primary storage, along comes converged secondary storage! Rubrik and Cohesity are the clear leaders in the space, and both have amassed an impressive lineup of ex. Nutanix, Google & Facebook staff. Look for the backup and secondary storage market to be thrown into a spin with the rise of integrated secondary storage appliances. These systems will incorporate backup software and storage into a unified scale out platform. This one has me excited.