Here’s what we will see in 2017 in IT:
To improve their margins, systems integrators and solution providers will move away from representing a specific set of products and vendors, to providing managed services and seeking out flexible products to solve very specific customer problems. These custom solutions may include some of their “standard” offerings, but more and more often they will be sourced from new and different vendors. Commodity hardware, managed by newer software that combines all capacity and performance resources into a single pool without regard to platform or protocol, gives the customer value while the integrator gets bigger volume and margins. Hardware vendor lock-in will become a thing of the past with newer data storage management products that lift this restriction because they combine all available storage into one storage pool. Channel partners will be able to offer products from a variety of vendors—including commodity storage products for greater volume.
Software-defined data centers will usher in new opportunities for global analytics over all compute and storage systems. Analytics will be everywhere, not just those we currently class as big data applications that track business patterns and make trend predictions, but analytics engines that monitor workloads and devices. These analytics will improve the efficiency and resilience of the infrastructure and allow it to adapt, protect, and heal – so-called “autonomic systems” that execute actions, versus merely sending alerts to an administrator to resolve. SDDC will enable global analytics for all compute and storage.
Increased Cloud Scrutiny
With more corporate data housed in the cloud, Azure and AWS will become part of most organizations’ storage infrastructure. Improved management tools will need to be used to harness this new storage medium. We will see additional focus on the management of that data, with the goal being seamless orchestration and movement between on-premises and cloud storage, with data auto-aging and overflowing to the cloud based on lifecycle policy. Software-defined storage will address uptime concerns by intelligently spreading data across multiple clouds thus increasing data resilience. With migration concerns addressed, the ongoing conversation in 2017 will be about how to get value and utility from cloud storage.