Top Storage Trends for 2013

By Jay Kidd, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, NetApp

A Big Year for Flash in the Enterprise
Looking at the key storage trends for 2013, we predict it will be another big year for solid-state technologies. Flash will be applied broadly to a wide range of workloads,from virtualized servers and desktops to online transaction processing (OLTP) to file services. Organizations will continue to integrate flash into every area of the storage architecture, from cache at the host level and in-storage arrays to all-flash arrays. However, as flash increases its enterprise penetration, performance alone won’t be a differentiator. Questions about product- and company-readiness for enterprise deployments will dominate. Software integration, currently an afterthought, will bubble to the forefront of storage trends, and implementation decision criteria will focus on both performance gains and data management.

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More Enterprise Apps Head to the Cloud
More than 30% of organizations will move at least one enterprise data center workload to the cloud. Cloud services will be deployed even more broadly for private storage, including disaster recovery, backup and archiving. Partnerships between enterprise storage and hyperscalar cloud service providers will increase. Another important trend to watch is the convergence of on-premises and cloud storage, whereby enterprises will no longer need to compromise between the security, resiliency and availability of an on-premises implementation and the scalability and performance of cloud services.

Dual Standards in Hypervisors
In most cases, customers will operate more than one hypervisor, with Microsoft® Hyper-V gaining a stronger presence. The emergence of Hyper-V will be driven by the anticipated penetration of Windows Server® 2012 in private cloud implementations. The coming year will also see emerging storage trends like wider use of open source alternatives, including CloudStack and OpenStack, for large-scale cloud orchestration.

In-Memory Computing Creates a New Class of Transpredictive Apps
Few technologies are poised to have as dramatic an impact on IT as in-memory computing, driven by growing data requirements and the push to make real-time business decisions. SAP® HANA will generate high interest as an example of a new class of combined OLTP/analytics platforms. And interest in NoSQL technologies will increase as customers seek lower-cost alternatives to consolidate application platforms.

Clustered Storage Drives Efficiency
Unplanned downtime has never been tolerated, but planned downtime has been an unavoidable reality. As clustered storage gains a foothold and more organizations embrace the notion of an agile data infrastructure, the idea of 100% uptime and the elimination of planned downtime will become realities.

Converged Infrastructures Replace Single-Vendor Stack Models
More enterprises will turn to the flexibility of converged infrastructure models to enable rapid innovation. Vendor-exclusive stacks will give way to best-in-class converged infrastructures with prevalidated components and clear deployment guidance. This will be a breakout year for the FlexPod® data center platform from Cisco and NetApp as organizations look to spend less energy integrating their infrastructure.

Enterprise Alternatives Compete With Public Drop Boxes
Alternatives will emerge to offer “in-place” access to enterprise data, which will slow adoption of offerings from enterprise “box startups.” In-place access solutions will provide enterprises with security and control of data while meeting mobile access and collaboration needs.

Object Storage for the Enterprise
Large-scale growth in object storage will begin in 2013, fueled by the massive growth in the Internet of things (smart devices, remote sensors) and mobile devices. Additionally, object storage strength in the consumer cloud will cross over to the enterprise.

PaaS Shootout Leads to Vendor Cooperation and Openness
The cold war between platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vendors (OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus and others) will escalate. No clear winner will emerge in 2013. This will lead to more open compatibility between PaaS stacks toward the second half of the year (cross-compatibility between Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, CloudStack and others).

‘Software-Defined Infrastructure’ Becomes Tangible
Virtualized servers, clustered storage and software-defined networks will converge into a blueprint for agility at scale in the data center. This will be a year of education, with customers coming to understand the benefits of software-defined compute, networking and storage.

Three Fail, 30 Start up
Three storage startups will fail as their technologies are deemed obsolete. In their place, 30 companies will start up or come out of stealth mode. The pace of technology change will continue to be so rapid that being first to market will almost guarantee failure.

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