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Taneja Blog / Software Defined/Virtualized Infrastructure

Taneja Group Predictions for 2016 – Jeff Byrne, #3

While the term “software defined” loses some of its lustre, enterprises will continue to accelerate their investments in software defined storage and networking in 2016.

As my colleague Mike Matchett has pointed out, “software defined” is being routinely applied to describe all manner of infrastructure solutions, whether they meet the criteria or not.  Like the cloud-washing epidemic of a few years ago, selected vendors are hijacking the “software-defined” moniker to strengthen their positioning and messaging platforms, without concern for misleading prospective customers. For such suppliers, it seems to matter little that their “software-defined” solutions rely on proprietary hardware or in some cases actually co-mingle control and data flows in a single path. Unfortunately, this recklessness is causing the “SD” term to lose both impact and meaning.

Even so, recent Taneja Group research found that an increasing percentage of enterprises are planning for software-defined infrastructure—and in particular, storage—over the next two years. Though the landscape is a bit confusing, most customers seem to recognize the cost and flexibility advantages of being able to scale and control their storage environments without having to invest big dollars in proprietary storage arrays. While many companies viewed the first generation of software defined storage as a “do it yourself” approach, we believe that the next wave will bring solutions that are much easier to deploy and manage. As storage becomes more application centric, users will demand solutions that bring storage closer to the application, giving rise to software-defined offerings that are pre-packaged on servers and integrated into converged infrastructure and hyperconverged systems. Simplicity will become one of the key selling points as this transition takes place.


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