Mark Peters sat down with Steve Duplessie to chat through what's already happening in the storage world and what is likely to pick up speed through 2017.
Announcer: The following is an ESG 360 video.
Steve: Hi. Today, I'm joined by Mark Peters, senior analyst and practice director. Hi, Mark.
Steve: Mark, storage after 40 years might actually start to be interesting this year. I'm looking forward to it myself. What are some of the big and interesting trends that you're taking a look at for the coming year?
Mark: Okay. You're right. It's been a long time coming and I think it really is happening now. I want to try... I know we do these predictions videos, but this isn't about what happens in June or July with a particular technology. I think it has been for many of those decades.
Mark: It was all very exciting. We're going to do, I don't know, add some cache or dual pathing or put a bit of flash in somewhere. We're really getting beyond that now.
Steve: ISCSI is going to kill fibre channel.
Mark: It's a fascinating discussion, but that's not where we are. I tried to boil this down to not specific things are going to happen in individual months, because, by the way, individual customers move at different paces as well.
Steve: Of course.
Mark: This is not to say that the technology is not important. I want to talk a bit about the technology, a bit about the industry, and then the word I know you love - lexicon - which I want to talk about Okay? So, technology first, let's just get this out of the way.
Mark: There are still massive movements happening in terms of the adoption of flash. We've got hyper convergence. We've got software-defined. We've got the Cloud. I think the point is that these things aren't all different. They're all part of a movement which is going to drive. One of the important things happening in the industry is the drive towards orchestration. How do you manage all these things for actual value? You and I have been doing this for a long time, well not this, but the industry for a long time. I think one of the things particularly when we were on the vendor side is you spend ages trying to link your product to business value. Really, you're multiple steps away from it. Everything we're talking about now with storage and infrastructure generally is genuinely going to be able to see a straight line if you can do it properly from what you do from the storage perspective, and I'll change that word later when I talk about lexicon, and what comes out at the other end. I think that's genuinely interesting.
Steve: I think that it's a good point, because for again, 40 years, we've been myopically focused on the pieces as opposed to the system. I think that's what you're getting at. The value comes systemically across an organization and across a set of kit not just by one little piece here and one little piece there.
Mark: Well, and if you think about it, the analogy I use all the time is really for those 40 years, we've had tens of thousands of data centers which are really body shops building cars. They buy some seats. They get an engine. They get a windshield wiper. They have to put it together and then you tweak it, and hopefully those bits all go together. Increasingly, you can rent your car these days. You can buy a complete car. You can buy a hyper converge system or you can go get Uber or use the Cloud or Zipcar.. There are lots of different acquisition methods. That's something that is increasingly going to happen as well, which is interesting because that brings me to the second point just about the industry. Obviously, we've had the massive merger between Dell and EMC.
Steve: A big one.
Mark: And, I think that's probably not the last one. I mean, it's probably not going to be as big. But, there's going to be continuing change in the industry because the simple reason is as we go down this, as you called it "systemic route" rather than individual components from the plumbing up to some value, it doesn't make sense for everyone to be buying all their different components from lots of different places. You don't go and buy your Tesla in bits and put it together at home. Most people don't. They either want to buy a complete car or they want to buy a car service or they want to rent or borrow a car or whatever else.
Mark: I think there will continue to be change in the industry. One other thing that's important at that level is that when I use the word service I don't mean as a service. But, we'll increasingly see the importance of services and support because increasingly, you and I used to know how to tweak and start a car. I don't open the hood anymore. I mean, it...
Steve: Right. I don't recognize anything inside of it.
Mark: It better damn well work. The final thing, because I know we could go on a long time, I said I want to talk about lexicon. I think one of the things that I can guarantee is, because it's happened already, we're going to see increasingly the use of words like engineered systems, data fabrics, composability, all those sorts of things. Really those are just endemic of what we talked about. This stuff is all coming together. It's no longer going to be those components. It's going to be looked at at a much higher level. I guess that's 2017 and probably the next few years as well.
Steve: Sounds great. At least sounds interesting for a change. Thanks, Mark Peters. Take care.