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Predictions for 2014 and trends that will impact the industry

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With the year wrapping up and companies looking toward 2014, Jay Kidd, Chief Technology Officer and senior vice president at NetApp, gives his predictions for 2014 and the trends that will impact the industry including flash, cloud, and software-defined. He also takes a look back at 2013 and the predictions that came true.

Jay Kidd, Chief Technology Officer at NetApp (image: NetApp)
Jay Kidd, Chief Technology Officer at NetApp (Image source: NetApp)

Kidd believes the key themes that will emerge in the upcoming year include The “Parting of the Clouds” into a Hybrid Cloud of clearly distinguished IT service offerings, and the acceleration in adoption of technologies that have emerged in the past two years.

1. Hybrid Clouds Become the Dominant Vision for Enterprise IT

The tension within IT on moving to the cloud will resolve as organizations recognize that a hybrid cloud model is needed to serve their application portfolio. CIOs will sort their application portfolio into those they must control entirely (in on-premise private clouds), control partially (in enterprise public clouds), as well as workloads that are more transient (public hyperscalar clouds), and those best purchased as SaaS.  IT will act as brokers across these diverse cloud models. This will also uncover the need to easily move application data between clouds and to provision consistent storage service capabilities across different cloud models.

2. Hunger Games Begin for All Flash Startups

The flash market will see increased growth as the presence of mainstream enterprise storage companies validates this technology trend.     The battle between mainstream players and bleeding edge all flash offerings will be won by the ones that best enable customers to deploy the right level of performance, reliability, and scalability for their specific needs and workloads. Growth in international markets will be led by mainstream legacy players who have the ability to deliver and support products globally.

3. If You Work in IT, You Are a Service Provider

As CIOs move to managing a portfolio of cloud services, they will look at their internal IT as one more service option.   All IT owned by a company will be considered “private cloud”, and expectations of responsiveness to the business, cost competitiveness and service-level agreements will be compared to external cloud options.

4. Reality vs. Hype Becomes Clear around Software Defined Storage

As the Software Defined Datacenter vision gains acceptance, the evolutionary path of the infrastructure components become clearer.   Policy-based software control over traditional infrastructure components begins to take root.   Virtual versions of infrastructure components – network and storage controllers – become more common.   The most valuable virtual components are the ones that cleanly integrate with existing physical network and storage systems, and can offer features and services consistent with those offered by traditional physical controllers.

5. Storage Virtual Machines Enable Data Mobility & Application Agility

Just as Virtual Machines enabled the movement of running applications between physical servers, Storage Virtual Machines will liberate data from specific physical storage.   These logical containers of data volumes simplify migration of workloads between storage clusters and enable highly available storage clusters in metro areas.

6. OpenStack Survives the Hype, Moves Beyond Early Adopters

OpenStack will continue to gain momentum in 2014, becoming the ‘open’ alternative to commercial products for datacenter orchestration. As OpenStack distributions become more ‘product’ than ‘project’ more enterprises and service providers will move to adopt. OpenStack will become the most successful enterprise open-source technology since Linux.

7. Questions on Data Sovereignty will Impact Private and Public Storage

The wide-spread adoptions of cloud computing and storage services have challenged traditional geopolitical barriers. This leads to concerns by large enterprises in many countries regarding government disclosure laws their data is subject to.  Organizations outside of the US will seek hybrid cloud options that allow them to maintain sovereign control of their data while still taking advantage of cloud computing economics.

8. 40GbE Adoption Takes Off in the Datacenter

The next evolution of the Ethernet, 40Gb, begins widespread adoption at the core of the datacenter.  Higher bandwidths allow larger datasets to move more quickly and easily, which in turn encourages the growth of data.

9. Big Data Evolves from Analyzing Data You Have to Driving the Collection of New Data

As companies derive value from analytics on existing data, they will move to collect additional data that will further their insight.     New devices will emerge to gather more data about consumer behaviors, industrial processes, and natural phenomenon.   These data sources will be used by existing analytics to improve insight, and will give rise to entirely new analytic applications.

10. Clustered Storage, Converged Infrastructure, Object Storage, In-Memory Databases all continue their momentum in 2014

Several technology trends that built momentum in 2013 will continue to grow.   Clustered storage adoption accelerates.  Converged Infrastructure becomes the most compelling building block of datacenter infrastructure.  Object Storage grows in adoption as applications that monetize vast capacities of data objects gather momentum.   And in-memory databases, led by the popularity of SAP Hana, enter the mainstream.

Staff writer

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