It is that time of year again to take stock of the year we’ve had and look forward to what we should expect to see in this market. I have been in the data storage business since 1984, and I have never seen such dramatic change in such a short amount of time as we have this year. The tectonic shifts being driven by virtualization and solid state media are amazing. What I see happening in 2015:
More big advances in flash performance and capacity.
It is clear that the NAND vendors have thrown Moore’s law out the window. We will see even more aggressive density moves than we saw this year. The effects of inline data reduction are keeping capacity demands in check, so expect to see very aggressive pricing for solid state drives in the 250GB to 2TB range. We will also see PCIe flash and NVDIMMs make their way into shared storage devices; further driving latencies down. I love when changes in storage hit $/IOP and $/GB so hard at the same time. Everyone wins.
Flash enables Fast Data to emerge from Big Data.
Flash is having a transformative effect on enterprises. We have customers that are running analytics jobs over 80% faster than they were with traditional storage. In one case, a Wall Street hedge fund is running analytics in 4 hours that used to take over 22 hours. This has had a massive impact on their business. The age of the Real Time Enterprise is becoming a reality.
Hybrid Upstarts take the stage from Industry Oligarchs.
The market at large is beginning to understand the dramatic impact hybrid storage has in data centers. It used to take three 42U racks to store a little over 100TB at 75,000 IOPS. Now that can be delivered in a single 2U array. Acquisition and operating costs are dropping faster than ever. I can’t wait to see the aggregate TB consumption curves as inline data reduction becomes a must-have in the enterprise.
The competitive chess board will get more complex.
With all of these technology shifts in play, there will be massive shifts in the vendor base. Even more startups coming into play, some may fall out of play, some may get acquired, and as the public market keeps close watch in our space, we may even see an IPO or two. Many of the big vendors are sitting on lots of cash too – more acquisitions? Probably.
Hyper-converged systems gain in popularity, but don’t materially displace storage.
We’ve seen a few hyper-converged startups do quite well in the market. VMware is even in the game now with EVO:Rail . There are a few use cases such as big retail that make perfect sense for hyper=converged system to be placed in each store. But in the data center? I don’t see it.
Utility based purchases empower customers.
With storage administrators facing the challenge of squeezing more and more life out of their arrays and finding a way to justify additional storage expenditures to their boss, capacity utilization-based models will emerge wherein users eliminate the risk of under or over-sizing their storage infrastructures.
Well, there you go. Let’s check back at the end of next year and see how I did. Happy 2015, everyone!
About the Author
Rob Commins has been instrumental in the success of some of the storage industry’s most interesting companies over the past twenty years. As Vice President of Marketing at Tegile, he leads the company’s marketing strategy, go to market and demand generation activities, as well as competitive analysis. Rob comes to Tegile from HP/3PAR, where he led the product marketing team through several product launches and 3X customer growth over three quarters. Rob also managed much of the functional marketing and operations integration after Hewlett Packard acquired 3PAR. At Pillar Data Systems, he was at the forefront of converged NAS/SAN storage systems and application-aware QoS in mid-range storage. Rob is also a veteran of StorageWay, one of the first storage services providers that launched cloud services.
Article orginally posted on VMblog.com