2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud

    The storage landscape will continue to shift in 2016 as it enters its most exciting transformation yet. The rise of converged infrastructure, flash and hybrid cloud is disrupting what has mostly been a static industry, long thought to be past its inflection point for innovation.  

    However, the data revolution and increasing reliance on cloud technologies are changing the way enterprises view and utilize storage. For instance, compute, network and storage are moving beyond traditional IT silos to a converged infrastructure, with DevOps emerging as a key catalyst. Meanwhile, enterprises are finding new use cases for flash, as price cuts have made the technology a viable option for workloads beyond cache and tier technologies.

    In tandem, these disruptive forces will significantly impact the responsibilities of storage admins, who must adopt new and relevant skills or risk losing their roles.

    In this slideshow, Lee Caswell, VP Product, Solutions & Services Marketing at NetApp, details the exciting changes to come for a dynamic storage market and how it will shape up in 2016.

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 1

    What’s in Store for 2016?

    Click through for more on the exciting changes that are expected to shape the dynamic storage market in 2016, as identified by Lee Caswell, VP Product, Solutions & Services Marketing at NetApp.

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 2

    DevOps and Converged Infrastructure

    DevOps will drive growth in converged infrastructure.

    In addition to simplicity and speed, converged is one of the fastest growing segments in enterprise infrastructure as it solves the number one issue most organizations have: a shortage of IT skills.

    Enter DevOps, which promises communication, collaboration, integration and automation to create efficiencies within the enterprise. In 2016, organizations will see an increase in investments on converged infrastructure as DevOps emerges as a key use case driving growth.

    While DevOps requires more time for application programming, it automates and optimizes many processes like hardware configuration. It also promises reduced time to deployment for new applications. This transition of workflows can help IT teams refocus their staff to take on tasks that help achieve and further business goals.

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 3

    Flash Storage

    Price cuts will double the flash market.

    The first wave of flash adoption was driven by its promise of performance, but used sparingly due to high costs. Until now, flash was reserved for cache and tier technologies or carefully applied to isolated performance applications such as databases.

    However, we have begun to see a steady increase in interest around flash in the last few years. According to IDC, the worldwide flash-based array market grew to $11.3 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, IDC reported that flash grew 101 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 in EMEA, “defying overall market storage slowdown.”

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 4

    New Uses for Flash

    New uses for flash will arise.

    In 2016, the industry will continue to embark on a flash revolution as a result of its lower prices. Flash sales are poised to double due to aggressive price cuts as large enterprise-storage companies stake out claims on this bright spot in the market.

    With decreasing prices, enterprises will soon begin to find new use cases for flash to help drive their business. Mansfield Oil, a leader in energy supply, logistics, and services in North America, is one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States by revenue. The company is utilizing flash to maintain robust performance for its high-transaction SQL Server environment. This enables Mansfield to stay ahead of competitors; ensuring critical business applications are always available—without exception.

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 5

    Shifting Storage Landscapes

    Shifting Landscapes for the Storage Admin

    It’s no doubt that hybrid cloud is taking off. Sandler Research found that the market is growing at an annual compound rate of 29.22 percent over the period of 2014-2019. Therefore, IT organizations must learn to support a modern constituency of end users who are eager to create new, flexible, and responsive IT resource environments and who see the public cloud as a means to achieve this goal on their own.

    In this hybrid cloud approach, seamless data management across cloud resources is critical to enable IT organizations to complement a private cloud with a public cloud strategy that doesn’t introduce new risk, complicate policies, or result in the loss of control of valuable business information. As such, this impacts the current state of the storage administrator.

    2016 Data Storage Trends: DevOps, Flash and Hybrid Cloud - slide 6

    Hybrid Cloud Data Manager

    The Emergence of the Hybrid Cloud Data Manager

    The role of storage admins will continue to evolve in response to transforming IT landscapes. As organizations move to a cloud delivery model to reduce costs and increase flexibility, they shift from being builders and operators of their own data centers to being brokers of services that span both private and public cloud resources.

    In 2016, the classic storage administrator will either evolve into a data manager of the hybrid cloud with a seat at the executive table or hole up in a comfortable storage product minutia and become increasingly less relevant.

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