The future of infra is hybrid, fully automated and invisible . With the advent of the 3rd Platform compute, storage & network as well as key related aspects like infrastructure management and security, will change completely. In this post I will have more detailed look at the possible storage related changes.
For storage the immediate future is software based. There will be less reliance on physical SAN (Storage Area Network), NAS (Network Attached Storage) and direct attached storage (ie internal disks). Also the move is clearly towards solid state discs like Flash storage. Question is when, and not if.
The change will not be a big bang, but a step by step and gradual change. The price reduction of WAN bandwidth, the increase of WAN quality of service as well as the decrease in actual storage costs has opened new opportunities and the trend is clearly continuing.
Coming back to today, there are 3 main disc / drive types : Solid State, Fibre channel and the older SATA drives:
And these can be “combined” to deliver a storage capability – for instance in a SAN and NAS where typically hundreds of mix’ed type discs are installed, or in internal configurations. With the advent of cloud based capabilities more and more storage is being pushed into the cloud, rather than using more traditional storage devices. There are two main changes / developments in the storage world : Storage virtualisation (been around for a while) and Software based Storage (fairly new). There are 2 main storage virtualisation approaches :
A quick word on the relationship between storage, backup and archiving. No storage transformation without a clear aligned backup and archiving approach and for the successful adoption of new storage capabilities the scope has to be wider- ie up to application and business. Below is a simple example of a storage, backup and archiving transformation :
Clearly it very much on the actual client situation, on the actual requirements – like performance and latency characteristics, BCP (business continuity planning), RTO (Recovery Time Objective or Return To Operation) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) – plus you will connect this with the compute, network and security story – so the above is a simple transformation example that shows the relationship between these closely related aspects.
Given the speed of innovation a lot more will change over the coming years. By 2018, 40% of midsize enterprises will replace all data centre servers and storage with integrated systems. (Predicts 2015: Midmarket CIOs Must Shed IT Debt to Invest in Strategic IT Initiatives, Gartner, 2014). Gartner’s projections suggest that by 2016, 20% of organizations will abandon backup and recovery technologies in favour of exclusive use snapshot and replication. By the end of 2016, they expect that more than 50% of enterprises will store customer-sensitive data in the public cloud. By 2019, they predict that 25% of all mission-critical workloads will be supported by all flash arrays.
As noted above, the future is hybrid with a mix support for SAN, NAS and dedicated (future legacy), simple arrays either network attached or within the server hardware and cloud. SSD will be the dominant storage as soon as the per GB price will be comparable to that of a FC or SATA and considering TCO and not just the buying price difference than this might not be too long off.
Thanks for reading.
 Predicts 2015: Midmarket CIOs Must Shed IT Debt to Invest in Strategic IT Initiatives, Gartner, 2014
Note: This is the personal view of the author and does not reflect the views of Capgemini or its affiliates. Check out the original post here.