Data Storage predictions for 2016 from IBM viewpoint!

Data Storage world is said to witness a slew of changes in year 2016 and that’s from the viewpoint of IBM’s Chief Technology Officer Andy Walls and Dr. Evangelos Eleftheriou who is head to IBM Cloud and Computing Infrastructure.

Technically speaking, these predictions are worth considering, especially after observing the industry transformation in 2015.

Andy Walls predicts that flash based storage will completely take over the active tier one storage market in a flash in 2016. He added that flash will dominate disk storage by 2019 as the price of flash vs. disk will become almost proportionate. Mr. Walls also came to a conclusion that vendors will find the need to move the traditional 2D memory cells in storage technology in 3 dimensional, which is called 3D stacking.

Hyper Converged Storage appliances in which software tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources will be in great demand in 2016. Andy predicts as the market from hyper convergence moves from hype to the real thing, the demand for these appliances will keep vendors on toes in coming year.

Next on Andy’s prediction is about cloud and software defined storage market. He predicts that storage is a major component to the cloud and will continue to be a fundamental driver of performance. He also predicted an encouraging upcoming year for software defined storage market. In his viewpoint, while smaller businesses are increasingly moving to SaaS applications and cloud-based storage in pursuit of lower costs and greater agility, most enterprises need to pursue a hybrid strategy, retaining a significant amount of storage capacity on-premises for reasons of performance, security, regulatory compliance, cost and/or the avoidance of cloud service lock-in. This is where; the market for SDS looks bright as it offers a hybrid environment to companies and fulfills episodic capacity requirements on demand.

Now coming to the predictions made by Dr Evangelos, strategically speaking, both the guys are on same page. But their viewpoint differs a bit on a theoretical note.

Dr. Evangelos predicts that flash will become pervasive in 2016 as it will expand from high end enterprise storage to encompass big data workloads in a cost competitive manner. He termed this upcoming trend as “Big Data Flash” and said that this new storage category will focus on reducing cost and increasing the effective storage capacity to serve cloud workloads that are dominated by reads and do not have stringent requirements on write performance and endurance.

Evangelos expects more companies move towards software-defined storage systems made of low-cost Flash and commodity hardware components to store large data volumes in a cost-efficient way.

And as per another observation of Mr. Evangelos tape storage is said to dominate cold data storage segment in upcoming year. He predicts that out of the total files created in the massive enterprise data deluge, 80% of it will be inactive after few months of data generation and this is where tape prevalence shows its prominence as a low cost storage.

DR Evangelos also predicted that the need for seamlessly integration of mission-critical enterprise storage with the cloud will propel the emergence of gateways with innovative capabilities. This is where the vendors offering such appliances will make merry.

Mo Tahmasebi, CEO and President of DNF Corporation concurs with the predictions made by both the storage technologists from IBM. At the same time, he feels that the market for backup and advanced disaster recovery will accelerate in coming year 2016. He adds that organizations are slowly learning the value of backup and disaster recovery solution and their presence in their enterprise IT environments and what their absence can surely earn to them. For this reason, as per his forecast investments in hybrid backup and DR solutions and services will increase in 2016 and that is where his organization StoneFly, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DNF Corporation is making merry, as it offers a product catalog as per the future trends of the storage industry.

With all said, 2016 will certainly be a transformative year for storage industry. So, which companies will be left standing as a leader in January 2017? Well, only time can give a sure shot answer to this question.


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