Software-defined storage (SDS) fuels a healthy, sometimes contentious, level of debate across the IT industry. The technology appears to be equal parts reality and hype, equal parts gimmick and disruptive game changer. Multiple solutions leverage the term software-defined storage, each providing different levels of capability and targeting different use cases. One common theme, however, is hardware abstraction, delivering storage capability as software and providing the ability to leverage a variety of hardware. As different solutions offer different levels of software functionality, the vast majority of the conversation focuses on what that capability should look like and ultimately what the definition of software-defined storage is. Software abstraction, however, will likely also have a profound effect on the future of storage hardware development. Despite SDS discussions blindly referencing the term “commodity” when discussing hardware, hardware differentiation opportunities are available for SDS solutions.
Software AG began rebranding its middleware products as a Digital Business Platform in the fall of 2014. The impetus for this grew out of recent acquisitions, including Terracotta and Apama, and the recognition that enterprise IT needs are evolving due to advances in technology. These acquisitions provide Software AG with complete platform-level support for data, events, decisioning, and process, and enable the company to effectively address new types of applications focused around real-time operations. Now that mobility has raised the bar on systems of engagement, new machine to human and machine to machine interaction patterns are becoming a focal point for application development. Developing applications to support these new interaction patterns requires a platform that provides development and runtime support for data, events, decisioning, and process. Developmental agility to reduce time to market and high-performance services are also expected. Software AG, with its Digital Business Platform, is well positioned to support these emerging business- and mission-critical enterprise needs.
Two particularly interesting data points from ESG’s 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey tell a story that is grounded in two important realities related to what is driving data protection modernization.
At a recent Analyst Day in San Francisco, Cloudera all but declared the company’s dominance of the core Hadoop distribution market. The case was made around three measures of success, namely:
A majority of organizations plan to increase information security spending this year—especially in industries such as retail, transportation/logistics, manufacturing, and communications & media. These budget increases make sense as business and IT executives come to terms with the dangerous threat landscape and persistent wave of highly-publicized data breaches. Rather than a minor spending correction, ESG believes that these changes will last several years as organizations modernize their security defenses, improve infosec oversight and analytics, and adopt internal security controls and processes to accommodate cloud and mobile computing.
Endpoint security has grown more difficult, driven by new types of multi-dimensional threats. This changes everything—CISOs are being forced to implement additional endpoint security controls, collect endpoint forensic data, integrate endpoint and network security defenses, and dig deeper into endpoint security analytics. Given this transition, many organizations no longer have ample resources or the right skills for endpoint security, prompting CISOs to offload some or all endpoint security tasks to service providers. ESG research illustrates growing demand for endpoint security services and discusses the implications for enterprise organizations, endpoint technology vendors, and service providers.
The emergence of solid-state has enabled IT organizations to finally achieve the full potential of their server virtualization environments. For too long, spinning media has created a storage bottleneck, limiting the value of virtualization. All-flash and hybrid arrays provide significant performance advantages over their predecessors, but deploying them requires new equipment purchases along with potentially disruptive data migrations. Server-side solid-state caching solutions can speed up existing external storage, but the advantages are predominantly limited to read performance, and may require the deployment of custom hardware inside the server chassis. PernixData’s FVP solution looks to provide the best of both worlds. As a software solution, FVP can leverage multiple types of server-side solid- state and flash technologies, providing hardware flexibility. FVP also provides read and write acceleration with high availability by clustering server-side storage across multiple nodes. The result is a deployment model where server-side hardware provides a highly available performance storage tier and the external storage layer provides the highly available capacity tier. PernixData refers to this design as decoupled storage, and this latest release, FVP 2.5, includes additional enterprise capabilities, helping to ensure an optimal performance experience.
With the official end-of-life date for Windows Server 2003 quickly approaching, how ready are IT organizations? According to ESG’s data, the vast majority still have some measure of a Windows Server 2003 footprint and, as such, will be affected by Microsoft’s decision. What kind of strategies do organizations have in place to upgrade from and migrate off of these soon-to-be unsupported systems, and how prevalent a role will cloud computing services play?
Several IT meta-trends have potentially significant network infrastructure implications for the course of 2015 (and beyond), including cloud computing, software-defined data centers, and information security. How will this translate into spending on networking technologies over the next 12 months, and how do this year’s anticipated budget levels compare with those of 2014? Regardless of year-over-year trends, in which areas of network infrastructure are organizations most likely to invest in 2015?
Long-time collaborators IBM and Cisco recently introduced a new converged infrastructure solution, VersaStack. Available through IBM and Cisco’s qualified business partners, this new solution focuses on making cloud, big data and analytics, and mobile deployments attainable and efficiently packaged for simplified deployment. This solution gives IBM and Cisco a unique advantage in the integrated full-stack market, as long as it can demonstrate the value of the B Series Blade Servers coupled to the strategic direction Cisco is headed in with ACI architectures, and Cisco Intercloud Fabric with IBM’s enterprise accounts.