Here are my personal predictions for IT this year and how they will affect enterprise storage.
Multi-cloud adoption will (a) encourage enterprises to adopt fewer infrastructure component suppliers and (b) abstraction layers to emerge that virtualise cloud services. Cloud suppliers may fight against this if they do not want to become commoditised.
Multi-cloud adoption will encourage enterprises to implement data management strategies to control and manage secondary data sprawl. Much as we have an Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model perhaps we need an Open Data Management model that characterises and standardizes the data management functions of a computing system without regard to its underlying internal structures and technologies.
Backup: for more and more enterprises backup will cease being a stand-alone application and become part of a data management strategy. Security will be a necessary part of data management as well.
Backup: suppliers will increasingly move into data management. Acronis, Commvault, Druva and Veritas are examples of this.
Data Management: Dell EMC, HPE and NetApp will partner with or acquire data management companies like Actifio, Cohesity, Delphix and Rubrik to help customers control secondary data.
Object Storage: object storage and file storage will start to converge, with flash-based object storage providing radical object storage access speed improvements.
NAND: QLC (4 bits/cell) flash arrays will capture a portion of the nearline disk storage market and the fast-access archive market.
File Software: new generation file software (WekaIO, Elastifile, etc.) will make progress but not really take-off in 2019. It needs another year to get established.
NVMe: In the foregone conclusion category – NVMe-oF will be widely adopted by SAN suppliers.
Storage-Class Memory: SCM will make relatively slow progress into servers as Intel is the effective sole supplier and its Optane product not good enough.
Public Cloud IoT Edge: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform will all produce IoT Edge systems, as will IBM and Oracle for their clouds.
IoT Edge: The IoT Edge concept will blur to include core on-premises data centres at one extreme and dim-witted light-bulbs at the other.
Artificial Intelligence: AI will become increasingly nebulous as there is no definition of what AI is, compared to, for example a SAN, NAS or object storage system. Machine Learning its better defined. We need application-specific machine learning system benchmarks. Ideally we could do with application-specific AI benchmarks as well, if that’s remotely possible because then we could find out which supplier’s AI products are better than others.