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2016 Storage Predictions from Matchett’s Crystal Ball

I’ve recently published some 2016 storage market trends and predictions in various publications. Here is a brief summary of what’s showing up in my storage crystal ball:

  1. The average vendor margin in storage is narrowing with software-defined showing up everywhere, open source alternatives nibbling at the edges, commodity-based appliances becoming the rule, and ever cheaper flash improving performance and density at the same time...On a related note, there are too many storage solutions in the market without enough differentiation. This hasn’t resulted yet in many vendor consolidation moves, although I’d count EMC and Dell as a big one in progress…
  2. New hybrid arrays are now being designed for all-flash performance yet still offer intelligent auto-tiering to lesser media to optimize capacity and cost. We’ll need to redraw category definitions this year to help clarify if an array is an all-flash or full flash-engineered hybrid, as opposed to just flash-capable (i.e. where you just stick in some SSD’s).
  3. We’ll see more “amorphous”, converged resource storage solutions in which memory, local flash, intelligent adapters and remote scale-out storage all transparently work together as a single storage system.
  4. Data protection features get baked into storage directly – we’ve seen some interesting examples from HP (between 3PAR, StoreOnce, and Data Protector) and Oracle (e.g. Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance). At the same time, integrated auto-tiered cloud back-ends are creeping out, but not heavily marketed yet as most storage vendors really don’t want to cede business to the likes of Amazon.
  5. Storage that is increasingly application-centric, driven directly by application needs than merely consumed as generic block or file services. For example, every vendor is gearing up their VMware Virtual Volumes support that enables per VM provisioning, operations, and QoS. We are seeing new data-aware storage solutions that use extra meta data (often application/usage related) over block and file services to optimize performance/capacity, track shared usage, support infinite versioning or snapshots, and enhance security.
  6. A great future for software-defined solutions and the hyperconverged appliances they enable. However, the phrase “software defined” has lost much of its meaning as every marketing genius reasons that their product includes software, so it must also be software-defined. Still, our research shows that already over 30% of enterprise respondents are envisioning hyperconvergence as their future data center architecture.
  7. The growing success of private cloud storage is holding true. In addition to supporting web-friendly application development, everyone also wants a corporate file sync and share solution, and many are moving up into corporate big data lakes to offload expensive DW/BI complexes.
  8. The OPEX of storage – including provisioning, troubleshooting, maintenance, upholding availability and performance SLAs, migration/transitions, ensuring security or compliance, etc. – will become a more important investment consideration even among senior business and financial officers who traditionally only trust CAPEX spreadsheets...

What do you see happening in the near future?

  • Premiered: 01/14/16
  • Author: Mike Matchett
Topic(s): Storage Predictions Mike Matchett


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