Examining the storage landscape in 2019

Rick Maltby

Continuing to support older storage technology not only costs organizations more money, it puts customer data and business survival at risk. Storage is one word that describes a huge and growing area of innovation.

Most people think of storage as little more than just a bunch of disks (JBOD), a RAID array, or a place in the cloud to back up data. Storage systems have become intelligent, using machine learning and AI to improve reliability, performance, and security. Hybrid solutions and virtual appliances are driving real-time analytics, automatically moving data closest to where business processing takes place, and helping to meet customer, regulatory and legal requirements. Once the available solutions are examined, most discover their need for modern storage solutions is greater than they realized.

The continued growth of social media, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications are driving an explosion of data to collect, store, and analyze. As a result, according to Markets and Markets, the global storage software market is expected to grow from $15.11 billion in 2014 to $23.33 billion by 2019. Additionally, Big Data analytics and the desire to mine data for hidden value are putting pressure on corporate data center storage implementations, driving the need for more capacity and real-time analytics. According to the report, Data Age 2025, worldwide data creation is predicted to grow to over 160 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025.

Finding the right solution

Storage is too often an after-thought in the design and development process, and since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, getting ahead in the architectural phase is critical. For example, real-time data access requires a different storage solution than data backups. Regulatory requirements—which vary by country and geographic location—are driving changes to how and where data is stored. For companies offering cloud-native solutions, understanding where data is stored and replicated is key to not violating the law.

A key DevOps component

For companies offering storage solutions, it’s important to get the message out about storage intelligence and automation as they can become key components in customers’ continuous integration and DevOps strategy. For IT staff already stretched to the limit, modern storage solutions offer new opportunities to eliminate manual processes, associated human error and potential on-site issues such as a power outage leading to having to rebuild an entire database from scratch on something like SQL or SAP/HANA. Meaning that they are saving money and growing business value. In fact, continuing to support older storage technology not only costs organizations more money, it puts their customers and their business survival at risk.

The storage landscape today

There are two key metrics enterprises need to consider: capacity and performance needs. On this front, it’s important to communicate that spinning hard-disk drives (HDD) are not obsolete yet. New technologies, such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), are delivering high performance HDD storage at higher value, even when compared to solid-state disks (SSD). With this solution, far greater storage capacity can be offered in the traditional HDD form factor. Since these disks are plug-and-play with existing storage solutions already in place in both enterprises and the cloud, they represent greater value to most organizations.

Beyond HDD and even SDD storage, newer non-volatile memory (NVMe) solutions offer ultra-low-latency for applications that require it. Examples of this technology include Intel® Optane™, HPE, IBM, Dell and others. Although more of a niche solution today, both value and demand for this technology will increase quickly. For example, according to Micron, NVMe storage scales particularly well for on-line transaction processing (OLTP) and NoSQL database applications where small-scale data sets that fit into memory are often used. Overall, NVMe can help reduce bottlenecks within your storage solution architecture compared with other SSD-based solutions.

Cloud driving storage innovation

Early cloud adoption was driven by the popularity of cloud backups, which are beginning to replace on-premises backups across the enterprise. Cloud elasticity and scale means purchasing only what you need but being able to scale up instantly as needed. This gives cloud-based storage an advantage over buying, installing, and administering your own local storage solution.

Beyond this, cloud storage is driven by two types of solutions: those that are cloud-native (born in the cloud, e.g. Pure), and those that have moved, or migrated to the cloud. Additionally, the collection and analysis of growing volumes of unstructured data has grown. This is due in part by growing social media use, application and user logs analysis, the analysis of customer support data, and so on. In a nutshell, cloud is more than compute infrastructure; storage innovation can be considered as driving cloud adoption overall.

Cloud-native startups to legacy enterprise applications

Cloud-native and legacy applications each have unique (and differing) storage technology needs. Enterprises are forced to integrate legacy applications with mobile and IoT, stressing older storage technology. Cloud developers are also choosing best-of-breed cloud services across providers, spreading data across them. As a result, customers are looking for more information about storage solutions on:

  • Hyperconvergence: driving efficiency and savings without sacrificing performance and capacity using software-defined storage systems
  • Hybrid IT support: striking a balance between cloud-storage and regulatory and legal requirements for data residency

No matter where you’re coming from, cloud and on-premises storage are usually both needed.

Plan your storage strategy early

At TBT Marketing, we can support you in developing a value proposition that takes all your customers’ needs into account and ensures that your message will be driving the right buyers to consider your solutions – therefore allowing them to be adopted more widely over time.

Enterprises are encouraged to create a strategy ahead of time so that solutions with the right value can be discovered without compromise. Plan to augment what you have and strike a balance between on-premises and cloud-based storage. We can ensure that your campaign orchestration carries this solution-focused plan right the way through the buyer journey, leading to more qualified leads being generated for you and more satisfied customers.

Contact us on +44 (0)1373 469270 or [email protected] to start planning your campaign.

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