In this ESG Video Blog, ESG's Mark Peters reviews the highlights of recent ESG Research on Storage Trends, specifically related to the evolution - and consolidation - of storage types.
Read the related ESG Blog: Storage Trends Research – Data Center Storage Technology Revolution (#4 in a series) - includes video
ESG recently completed research into the state of the storage industry. This video is one in a series. Each gives highlights into the key takeaways for a particular topic within the overall findings. I encourage you to read the companion ESG brief for each topic for more detail.
Here we'll look at the evolution...indeed, consolidation...of storage types. The storage landscape has evolved dramatically over recent years. Data centers were once dominated by SAN and NAS, but now include all flash, hyper-converged infrastructure, software-defined storage. And that doesn't include the impact of the public cloud, albeit that's an approach rather than a technology. But many users regard it as a tier or type of storage.
The introduction and integration of these new technologies brings change and challenge beyond the proliferation of choice. Yet it seems many users don't want...certainly don't use...more storage types. There's a trend towards using fewer storage types. Particularly, the use of some venerable storage types, has dropped considerably. Since 2015, the percent of users with internal storage is down by 30% and DAS down over 40%.
But also, hyper-converged systems play a role. There's a strong correlation between those deploying convergence and those that have had higher numbers of storage types. Consolidation of storage types is also likely, logically, aided by increased adoption of off-premises...that's cloud...storage. Users whose on-premises storage spending is either static or reducing most commonly attribute that to using the cloud, as one might suspect, but also to greater storage efficiency.
These trends paint a likely narrative for the evolving storage norm. Businesses are shifting from multiple storage silos by moving some workloads to the cloud, while workloads remaining on-premises can use newer storage technologies that allow consolidation, whether convergence, improved performance density such as with all-flash arrays, or greater scale, like scale-out filesystems.
It's worth noting two other elements impacting storage environments. First, application owners are increasingly interested in or actively participating in storage decisions. Second, a recruiting trend from specialists towards generalists suggests a desire and need for storage that essentially takes care of itself.
Pulling all this together, storage vendors that continue to require users to understand and manage every facet of their technology will be disadvantaged compared against solutions that deliver more consolidation and easier application-focused management. Thanks for watching. Look out for other videos and briefs in this series.