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The new style of IT and the future of storage

California dreamin’

I am writing this blog on a plane to California, heading there to spend a couple of days at the epicentre of the Hewlett Packard world. I have to confess to being a bit of a romantic old fool, and plan to take in Bill and Dave’s “Garage” as part of my trip. However, the visit also has a serious context as we plan and scheme for world storage domination as the sideshow!

 

The storage marketplace got busy

With such planning in mind, it has become plainly obvious to me that the storage marketplace is getting more and more complex and increasingly crowded with vendors, startups and product portfolios extending to every specialist niche and market segment imaginable. Added to this is the price competition that a crowded market—and a difficult economy—stimulates. Customers never had so many choices and are definitely benefitting from a perfect buyers’ market situation.

 

Buying behaviour changes accelerating

It’s also clear that the dynamics of customer buying behaviour are shifting in parallel. A couple of weeks ago I was a guest at IDC’s annual speaking event in Munich.  On a beautiful, balmy summer’s evening, it was fascinating to hear the prediction that service providers will consume 60% of enterprise storage in 2016. This apparently means two things:

 

  • Firstly, large enterprises will drive more and more applications and capacity to the public cloud service providers.
  • Secondly, SMB organisations will increasingly devolve their IT to the ‘Xxx As A Service’ model. 

 

The old models of selling storage are shifting dramatically.

 

Planning for storage world domination

It’s really that the storage vendor community not only needs to go to market via new and complex routes, but it must also dramatically differentiate in new and meaningful ways to stand out from the crowd. As I watch the industry press commentary, it is interesting to track how many senior EMC veterans are being pulled over to the VMware sister ship (including the master of storage blogging Chuck Hollis himself!). It strikes me that the traditional EMC the industry grew up around is on the change. Likewise HP has taken a highly differentiated route by building out the industry’s only true Converged Infrastructure model. By layering Software Defined Networking (SDN)and Software-Defined Storage (SDS)onto industry-standard computing, HP is completely reinventing the way IT can be architected and consumed. I plan to talk about Software-Defined Storage some more soon.

 

So as I look ahead to my two days ahead—the Garage where that early innovation spawned our great technology industry, and my meeting to plan the future of storage—I see a world of change going on in a storage industry that remains at the centre of the future of IT.

 

You can find me on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonHP if you wish to comment...

 

 

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