MinIO boss: Times are going to get very tough for appliance vendors

MinIO co-founder and CEO Anand Babu Periasamy has shared some of his thoughts on the current state of IT. Unsurprisingly, he positions MinIO as a beneficiary of the economic upsets, cloud IT changes, and malware epidemic, but his arguments are interesting even if you disagree that MinIO will benefit.

Anand Babu Periasamy, MinIO
Anand Babu Periasamy

1. Cost optimization will be the #1 priority in an uncertain economic environment

Given the current economic outlook, companies will focus on cost optimization and savings in 2023, says Periasamy. Following multiple years of 30 to 50 percent growth in the major public clouds, we expect to see that slow as more companies look to optimize their workloads – and costs – next year. This will usher in an age of cloud neutrality – where the operating model and economics are on equal footing with physical location (public cloud). The growth was previously driven by optimizing for flexibility and elasticity, but the VC-funded wealth transfer to the big three is over for now, and for predictable workloads, they will repatriate or introduce other clouds to create cost competitiveness. 

2. In a multi-cloud world, object storage is primary storage

Right now, databases are converging on object storage as their primary storage solution. This is driven by performance, scalability, and open table formats. One key advantage in the rise of open table formats (Iceberg, Hudi, Delta) is that they allow for multiple databases and analytics engines to coexist. This, in turn, creates the requirement to run anywhere – something that modern object storage is well suited for.

The early evidence is powerful – both Snowflake and Microsoft will GA external tables functionality in late 2023. Now companies will be able to leverage object storage for any database without ever needing to move those objects directly into the database; they can query in place. 

3. Times are going to get very tough for appliance vendors

Vendor pricing will be under a microscope in 2023 and that is more bad news for appliance vendors, many of which have struggled mightily with the growth of the cloud operating model and containerization. Commodity hardware is becoming the architecture of choice for large-scale deployments for performance, price, and the flexibility to choose a best-of-breed software provider. Further, because there is no integration lock-in, customers have choice and that drives superior pricing. As the whole industry shifts to be more open and multi-cloud, appliance vendors will come under tremendous pressure. 

4. In 2023, data security gets a makeover

Security is the #1 concern in every survey you read – from container security to ransomware. This does not change in 2023 but how business resilience is measured does. 

What this means is that restore times become more important, continuity becomes paramount, and data infrastructure gets the same attention as detection and attack surface. The reason is simple. CISOs and even CEOs know that the attacks will not stop, and that recovering from them becomes as important as securing the data from them. Detection, while still critical, will increasingly share importance with preventing theft and successful ransomware attacks. 

This will emphasize data immutability, restore throughput and/or continuous replication that are object storage oriented – further pressuring the legacy SAN/NAS players.