It wasn’t long ago when I heard the news: storage was “dead,” or at least in the process of dying, and those in the industry would need to dramatically shift focus in order to survive.
However, it’s now been a couple of years since the “storage is dead” myth rose to prominence – and today, the storage space is alive and well. Incumbent vendors in the industry have announced (and endured) changes, technologies have evolved and the industry has started moving in new directions, but overall, storage businesses are stabilizing. Below are some factors that helped drive this trend, and how they’ll continue to affect enterprise IT.
Shifting industry dynamics are creating opportunities for IT teams and vendors.
Today’s enterprise landscape revolves around the cloud – how companies can best leverage its benefits and deploy the right cloud strategy for each organization. As a result of this focus, developers – not IT pros – are often the forces driving next-generation storage architectures in today’s landscape.
This shift can create obstacles for IT teams when they’re tasked with managing those new infrastructures, but it also gives them a chance to prioritize what’s necessary to move their companies toward the cloud. Technology vendors and IT infrastructure companies also have a chance to cater to their IT admin customers in the most helpful way possible: by accelerating their cloud initiatives.
All roads lead to data management – but IT and development teams sometimes take different paths.
It’s not hard to see why the cloud is a major priority for enterprises – data is growing at a massive rate, and companies need flexible, cost-effective ways to manage it. Machine-generated data is expected to increase 15 times by 2020, and as developers and IT pros anticipate how they’ll analyze and leverage such data, they’re fueling a new era of data center transformation.
That’s not to say the most valuable road to data management success is always clear. For example, another well-known virtualization trend – containers – recently resurfaced in my conversations with users, as some development teams adopting container solutions are wondering how to replicate the management infrastructure that on-premises storage solutions provide for virtual machines. This aligns with insights StorageSwiss reported in July: companies struggle to move container solutions into the production data center. This could indicate a gap in communication between development and IT teams pursuing containerization, or more likely, another example in which data management is still very relevant.
Edge computing is yet another example. As an architecture model, it can help organizations harness the cloud’s benefits while managing machine data (and human-generated data, as well) that is created far away from the cloud – in the metro areas where people and machines live. Keeping latency low and performance high while providing cloud economics is critical to avoid racking up cloud access costs. However, building out an infrastructure to make this happen in no small technical or execution feat. Once again, it takes storage management expertise from a community of alive and well technology providers to bridge the gap.
As storage businesses continue to stabilize, the enterprise landscape is likely to see a resulting IPO boom and M&A activity throughout 2017. Through this evolution in the industry, organizations must be sure they’re taking past experiences into account and not overlooking basic problems with storage and data management – such as latency, data mobility, data access and performance. Otherwise, even groundbreaking new ideas and initiatives won’t be able to solve real problems for the companies backing them.
Learn more myths about data storage that didn’t stand the test of time.