In this Video Capsule, ESG's Mark Peters compares the evolution taking place in the storage industry to that of the automobile industry.
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Mark: A staple analogy for storage products has always been cars. We talk of a Rolls Royce option or a brute force dragster or the broad functionality of a minivan. Much as the transport industry including cars has changed with alternative consumption models, whether leasing, Zipcar, or Uber, so too has the storage world. Storage is available by the hour or terabyte in various Cloud-like consumption models.
Let's go one step further to consider how things have changed for both industries over decades. Early on whether a car or a storage system, you pretty much designed and built your own. Whether it was lathes and cranks or scripts and system monitoring, getting a working system was tough. Indeed, until recently IT has been about hundreds of thousands of people in tens of thousands of places essentially building cars from myriad components.
But, change has lately been rapid. First came kit cars with more or less sub-assemblies. Think of these as reference architectures or early converged infrastructure. Then came actual cars. This is akin to hyperconverged systems. Yes, you still need gas and a GPS, that's applications and some management, to get anywhere, but you have a working infrastructure. Next, we increase integration and flexibility, whether it's a choice of rental cars by type or duration. The equivalent is things like engineered or application specific systems and granular consumption via Cloud-like principals or places. This last play is still nascent, but already the next wave is visible. Things with names like composability and data fabrics offer a world where we don't worry about the vehicle but instead buy a journey or an achievement, whether that's getting shopping done or Granny collected, a web application or an analytics outcome.