The Future of Data Storage and Management Is Nigh!

You may have heard that Gene Amdahl recently died. I was reading some of the surrounding commentary and analysis, but—I am not sure whether this was cathartic, reassuring, or horrifying!—many of the things he predicted back in the 70s and 80s are only just happening now. And many of his predictions for what's still to be expected seem valid. I am not commentating as much on the fact that things take a long time to happen...more on the fact that our imagineering (as Disney would put it) isn't perhaps always as dramatic as we need in order to make big leaps forward.

Topics: storage management

Taking storage intelligence “outside the box”

Do you have a certain word or phrase that every time you hear it is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard? Sometimes publications, such as TIME magazine, will actually publish a list of banished words or phrases that the nation is simply sick of hearing. In case you were interested, recent lists have included over-publicized terms such as selfie, YOLO (you only live once), and literally (when you really mean figuratively). For me the term that—figuratively—brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear it is “outside the box.”

The original premise for that phrase was so promising: take a seemingly intractable problem and look at it from a different perspective or from a different point of view to find a creative solution. Through over use, however, the idea of outside the box thinking became both trivialized and a bit insulting. Have a problem? Try thinking outside the box. Didn’t work? Oh well, good luck then. It takes a considerable amount of work and effort to find and create unique perspectives and look at problems in new ways. The source of my frustration is that the overuse of the phrase trivialized the hard work that it takes to truly find new perspectives. So what does this have to do with enterprise storage?

Topics: Storage migration storage management cloud storage virtualized storage systems storage virtualization

Storage Systems Predictions for 2015

I sat down recently with ESG's VP of Research John McKnight to talk about what my expectations are for the storage marketplace in 2015:

Topics: data storage hybrid storage storage management storage tiering Converged

Storage 2.0...Coming Your Way Soon

I saw a great quote recently—my friend Richard Heard (the CEO of Red8) uses it in his corporate deck. It is from Jack Welch: "If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”

Boy is this true across a myriad of endeavors…and boy is it a challenge for traditional vendors in the storage industry these days. For years—well, decades—IT organizations have essentially hand-built their infrastructure and systems, combining a multitude of components to achieve their desired and/or required results. Now, admittedly, the components have always been extremely complex and sophisticated—whether they be switches, blades or storage systems—but they are also ultimately dumb until the “white coated magicians” of IT integrate, tune, and give them meaningful-results-oriented life. But this approach—so long the norm—is under attack; instead of people buying seats, engines, and wheels to build custom vehicles, an increasing number of actual car and truck manufacturers (that is, integrated systems, purpose-built appliances, and everything-as-a-service) is arriving...and—just as important—users are testing and demanding such options. People want to transport themselves and their stuff (i.e., run applications and deliver IT and business results) rather than merely build and care for the automotive solution (i.e., infrastructure) that can do so. But wait, there’s more…

Topics: Storage data storage storage management

ESG Research Shows that Storage Management Doesn't Get Easier with Scale

There is a dizzying array of "automatic" storage management functions available to IT professionals these days. From snaps to tiering, to replication, and even integration of the cloud, much of it can be a "set and forget" policy-driven joy! Can't it!?

Topics: Storage Replication IT Infrastructure cloud storage management

The Macro-strategy of Microsoft Includes Storage

“There are big changes happening today in the [insert your preferred technology here] area of IT.” That’s what our industry says all the time. It’s like movie trailers that start off “In a world…”. It can all-too-easily go beyond a truism to become a cliché and go onwards to be parody: indeed, a movie carrying the very title “In a World…” was released just this week!

But what if the Martians (….or true love, or talking planes, or something else equally unexpected) really started to appear? Would we have spent so long thinking it unlikely or impossible that we might just miss the signs that would have prepared us to embrace it? And that’s exactly where we seem to be with one of the changes happening in IT today. You see, it’s also significant that the big contemporary shift is actually….well, a big change. Traditional “big changes” in IT are often hype and for decades have been largely about better tools with which to do the things we’re already doing; it’s the IT equivalent of laundry detergent that “washes whiter.” But the big change these days (growing from, manifested by, and built upon elements like virtualization, clouds and convergence) is not – to extend the analogy - about washing clothes better; it is instead about a whole new approach to keeping clothes clean.

Topics: Storage Microsoft IT Infrastructure cloud integrated computing platforms storage management

Challenges and Opportunities in the Storage Industry

It's a de-rigeur and throwaway statement to say that 'data is growing and that storage management is tough.' But all-too-often we move immediately to specific problem areas and specific potential solutions. This video piece - first released in slightly different form late last year but just as relevant today and updated for this blog - takes an objective look at what the type and scales of the challenges really are, and whether there's actually any reason for optimism that we might 'tame the data monster.' It's a massive topic to cram into a video of just 11 minutes, but should prove valuable to some, useful to many, and cathartic to just about anyone in the storage business!

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure storage management