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Place your bets – my top 5 predictions for storage in 2014

Bets.pngWe talk a lot about a new style of IT, and what that means for storage. For most organisations, transforming you storage infrastructure is a journey. Starting a new year makes this a good time to look ahead at the major trends and milestones that will shape 2014 and lay the foundation for the years to come.


1. BURA – no longer a bit player

Every day I see new customers investing in HP 3PAR StoreServ for both the midrange and high end: evidence that the imperative to simplify operations to a single primary storage architecture is gaining momentum. I fully expect to see the same transition in the Backup, Recovery and Archive  (BURA) space, as complex and outdated legacy infrastructure struggles to cope with demands of virtualization, information explosion and the new computing paradigms.  The new world demands that we not only store and protect data, without disruption, but also derive insight and value from that data. The ideal scenario is that our back-up strategy should actually be helping us to look forwards, and we are seeing this shift in mindset taking place.  In all the surveys I have recently browsed, it seems that BURA is right at the top of storage priorities…


2. Flash forward

The flash debate has rumbled on throughout 2013 and, without wanting to over-simplify the issue, it boils down to the same trade-off the industry has faced for many years – cost versus performance. Today, memory-based systems are best suited to the performance-hungry, revenue-generating applications and services, where higher costs can be offset against performance benefits. As we look to the future, a key consideration is the ability to maintain the high operational standards developed for managing data in today’s environment, whilst combining the massive cost/performance leaps that will occur in the near future. My prediction? Moving from where we are with flash-optimized technologies today, the next generation of memory and storage-media technology will bring low cost and high performance into synchronization, and signify the decline of the current deep memory/storage hierarchy. Watch out for updates on HP Labs’ pioneering work with Memristor (Google it!) which will help to bring about this change.


3. The rise of software-defined storage (SDS)

It feels a bit strange to be touting SDS as one of the “next big things” when HP has been delivering Software-Defined Storage for more than six years. But many other vendors are still scrambling to define and deliver a meaningful software-defined solution that is more than an orchestrated software layer or still in development. 2014 will be the year that SDS moves from virtual to reality, and this will be led by small and midsize businesses and remote and branch offices deploying virtualised applications. And with vendors like HP offering 1TB of HP StoreVirtual VSA at no additional cost on ProLiant Gen8 servers, the natural consequence of a rise in SDS adoption is further momentum behind Converged Infrastructure.


4. Converged Infrastructure

Overwhelmingly, the majority of customers I speak to are shifting to a converged strategy, and the need for openness and industry standards is paramount for most customers when considering one-vendor shopping for data centre solutions (servers, storage and networks). While there is an argument for selecting “best of breed” products from specialist vendors, the fact is that unless your data centre is synchronised you are compromising the reactivity, reliability and security of your data centre. You don’t even need to rip and replace your existing architecture – with HP you can move at your own pace and make the most of the technology you already own.


5. It’s all about the money

The pressure to reduce costs is a given for any organisation and vendors are being asked to demonstrate new ways for businesses to have access to the technology you need, when you need it and at the right price. Without doubt, the customer is driving the agenda in terms of how they want to consume IT, and it is the role of the vendor to adapt and change accordingly.


These are my top 5 predictions for the coming year. What do you think?


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

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