Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Blog Feed Post

Top 10 Drivers of the Storage Industry in 2011 - Part 1

Most predictions about the storage industry seem to be either in the weeds (”will FCOE take off - and what flavor?”) or driven by the most sensational news possible (”Cisco will buy EMC and Oracle will buy NetApp!”).   This list strives to take a balanced view that takes positions on the key drivers transforming our industry. With that in mind, here are the first 5 of the ten most important trends in storage with predictions about what will change in 2011:

1.  Capacity demands will continue to grow exponentially.

It is amazing how little this one is mentioned.  Think about what happened to the bandwidth market when it was realized that internet usage was doubling every year.  OK - that might be a painful reminder for those of us that experienced first hand the telecom bubble.  The point is that one of the world’s largest industrieswas radically transformed.  And yet…. commentators seem to assume that change in the storage industry will *slow down* now that consolidation has occurred despite 75% year on year on year on year growth in unstructured data demand.

2. Storage contributes more profits to IT vendors than any other piece of the IT industry.

Again, we don’t hear this one talked about a lot.  But with analysts saying that storage is 42% of enterprise IT spending and growing and vendor margins in storage at least 3x-4x vendor margins in the server business, the math is pretty simple.  There is more money being made by storage vendors than any other segment of enterprise IT. If I learned one thing in economics it is that just as nature abhors a vacuum, capitalist markets abhor extraordinary profits.   Many storage buyers are able to read 10-Qs as well and can see that they are paying at least 4x the mark-up for storage that they pay for servers.

3.  Hardware commoditization.

The hardware is getting much, much, much better in the server market - so much so that it has left the proprietary approaches to storage hardware behind.  With SandyBridge from Intel the gulf will be oceanic in breadth.  Hardware RAID will fade away thanks to SandyBridge based CPUs that for storage will be 10x or more faster than Nehalem based systems and that will include SAS-2 and 3 on the chip.  Intel predicts that the vast majority of storage hardware will be based on SandyBridge. SandyBridge will also bring much less expensive 10Gbe; Intel predicts that 10Gbe will cross over with 1Gbe in 2011.  And what Intel says - goes.

You also see solutions like the Storage Bridge Bay from Supermicro and others beginning to proliferate.  These are industry standard form factors based upon commodity hardware and built to address storage requirements.  They include HA in a box, duel everything with no single point of failure.  Nexenta precertifies the SBB with Supermicro for their channel of thousands of VARs to resell; read more here.  I predict that Nexenta and related OpenStorage solutions will pull through in excess of $500 million in commodity storage hardware in 2011.

There will continue to be start-ups that exploit the newest hardware quicker than the legacy providers - but like smaller server vendors I predict that they will have a hard time differentiating themselves over the longer term. Buyers are already noticing that they are paying 5-10x as much for Intel and similar components when it comes in their array than if they buy them themselves.  And they are motivated to figure this out by trends 1) and 2) above.

Buyers that are pushed by 1) and 2) to reevaluate their storage strategy are trying and buying NexentaStor based systems at a pace that has led us to grow at almost a 4x per year growth rate.

4.  Silent data corruption gets louder

A deep, dark secret in the storage industry is that over time systems suffer from bit-rot and other insidious, incremental failures that make it increasingly likely that your data just won’t be available when you need it.

Actually commentators like Robin Harris have raised the alarm bell years ago - but little seems to be getting done about it.  You can read Robin’s excellent post on the subject here.   You can also read about silent data corruption reports on Amazon’s S3 here.

With disks and systems getting larger the math is not pretty - if you are an average storage user you are likely loosing data without being aware of it.

The answer is to use 3) to answer 4) -> use today’s massively more powerful hardware to checksum everything, end to end, in order to find and then even correct the corrupted data.  Today, as far as I know, ZFS is the only file system that is able to do this.  All other solutions for data integrity occur at the higher levels of hardware RAID and cannot offer as airtight of a solution.

5.  Developers, developers, developers and the cloud

The cloud and open source software both are rising in importance because enterprises are increasingly listening to developers and/or because developers are tired of listening to corporate IT and are forging on to get their projects done now.

If you are a developer you are as likely to work for a large enterprise as you are to work for an IT company.  We have dozens of customers that have 500+ developers.  And my sense is that all of these developers are tired of having to fight for space on the SAN or NAS.  Instead of waiting for corporate IT to allow them to do their jobs, they are downloading NexentaStor and building their own NAS, or buying a perfectly good one from a Nexenta partner for less than the cost of a golf outing with their legacy SAN provider, or simply putting their code up in the cloud.

The result is booming direct and indirect demand for NexentaStor and other open storage solutions.  The direct demand is pretty well explained above - it is easy to get started with NexentaStor, developers know that ZFS is better than legacy storage systems, and it is cost-effective.  The indirect demand comes through the cloud.  The cloud providers we have as customers have seen Amazon set a price point for S3 that is impossible to hit with legacy storage.

I had a large hosting company tell me in December last year that they ran the numbers and found that they could not purchase, buy and power on a legacy SAN (at a 55% street discount) for the cost that Amazon sells S3 services; their conclusion was that if they kept buying legacy storage that they would be out of business in a few years.  As a result many, many hosting companies are looking for ways to run storage on industry standard hardware just like Google and Amazon; the problem is that Google and Amazon have thousands of the world’s top computer scientists.  It turns out that building your own file system and the storage management services to turn that file system into something reliable and useful is extremely difficult; this is where ZFS and NexentaStor come into the picture.

We are seeing similar dynamics on the part of enterprise IT shops that see Amazon as a competitor.  I met the week of Christmas with a gigantic enterprise who happens to be a leading publishing company; we chatted about the growth of unsanctioned cloud usage on the part of their 1,100 developers and the IT director pointed out that their bill back charges internally for storage are 40-50x as a high as Amazon.  Not surprisingly rather than wait for space on the SAN at these exorbitant costs these developers are using NexentaStor themselves or via one of the increasing number of Cloud services based on NexentaStor.

snip —- that’s the top 5 storage industry drivers as I see them.  I’ll pick up on the next 5 in a later post.

In the meantime, what have I missed?  Are commentators actually starting with the basics such as 1, 2 and 3 and making the right inferences?  If so, which commentators do you recommend?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...