A few weeks ago at our annual partner conference NetApp Insight I made the prediction that by 2017 everyone who works in IT will have to think like a service provider. Whether you work for a company that is offering IT as a service to your customers – the set of customers who write you checks – or you work inside an enterprise, and provide IT to the company who writes your paycheck, you’re in the service provider business. And delivering IT as a service requires different thinking.
In 2013, this prediction will become more true and will drive increasingly revolutionary thinking. On top of this people-centric change are several technology revolutions that are challenging incumbent thinking and shredding traditional best practices.
Below are a few technology predictions to look for in 2013 as we make the march towards IT as a service. I invite you to share your thoughts on what trends you see shaping the IT industry next year:
Big and Bit Players Will Jump into the All-Flash-Array Market with Both Feet
The year 2013 will be another big one for solid-state technologies. Flash will be applied broadly to accelerate a wide range of workloads, from virtualized servers and desktops to online transaction processing (OLTP) to file services. Organizations will continue to integrate the use of flash into every area of the storage architecture, from cache at the host level and in storage arrays to all- flash arrays. Next year will be a milestone year for all-flash arrays. The big storage vendors will be out in force, announcing the fruits of acquisitions or the results of homegrown initiatives. The battle will be where it always is: getting the most bang for the buck. But, as flash increases its enterprise penetration, performance alone won’t be a differentiator and questions about product and company readiness for enterprise deployments will dominate. Software integration, currently an afterthought, will bubble up to the forefront and implementation decision criteria will focus dually on performance gains and data management. Additionally, as the focus on NAND flash reaches fever pitch, other solid-state storage technologies will enter the picture.
In-Memory Computing Will Create a New Class of Transpredictive Apps
Few technologies are poised to make such a dramatic impact on the IT landscape as in-memory computing. This topic will be on the lips of CIOs around the world as more data is generated and businesses want to take action on this data to make real-time decisions. SAP® HANA will generate high interest as an example of a new class of combined OLTP/analytics platforms. Interest in NoSQL technologies will rise as customers seek lower-cost alternatives to deal with big data analysis and processing data from the ‘internet of things’. CIOs love the concept of being able to integrate transaction and decision support platforms that have traditionally been very distinct.
Thirty Percent of Organizations Will Move Some Part of Their Enterprise Application Portfolio to the Cloud
The new reality of constrained IT budgets will increase cloud service usage. More than 30% of organizations will move at least one more enterprise data center workload to the cloud as well as deploy cloud services even more broadly for disaster recovery, backup, or archive. Partnerships between enterprise storage and hyperscalar cloud service providers will increase in 2013 to help customers take advantage of cloud compute, but still retain ownership of their enterprise storage. Enterprises will no longer need to compromise between the security, resiliency, and availability of an on-premise implementation and the scalability and flexible economics of cloud services.
There Will Be a Double Standard in Hypervisors
In 2013, customers will have more choices for their virtualized-environment hypervisors. In most cases, customers will operate more than one hypervisor, with Microsoft® Hyper-V™ gaining a stronger foothold in the enterprise market. The emergence of Hyper-V will be driven by the anticipated penetration of Windows Server® 2012 in private cloud implementations. In 2013, we’ll also see open source alternatives, including CloudStack and OpenStack, come to the forefront for large-scale cloud orchestration.
Clustered Storage Will Drive Efficiency in Storage Operations
Unplanned downtime has never been tolerated, but planned downtime has been an unavoidable reality. As clustered storage gains a foothold in the enterprise and more organizations embrace the notion of an agile data infrastructure, the idea of 100% uptime and the elimination of planned downtime will be realities. As a result, you’ll see a lot more smiling IT professionals with their families on weekends instead of at work doing data migrations.
Converged Infrastructures Will Replace Single-Vendor Stack Models
Next year will be the year that more enterprises turn to the flexibility of converged infrastructure models to enable rapid innovation. Vendor-exclusive stacks will continue to lose share to best-in-class converged infrastructures with prevalidated components and clear deployment guidance. The year 2013 will be a break-out year for the FlexPod® data center platform from Cisco and NetApp as organizations look to spend less energy to integrate their infrastructure.
The “Software-Defined Infrastructure” Will Become Tangible
Virtualized servers, clustered storage, and software-defined networks will converge into a blueprint for agility at scale in the data center. The year 2013 will be one of education, with customers coming to understand the benefits of software-defined compute, networking, and storage in anticipation of deployment as the operational models mature.
Three Will Fail and Thirty Will Start
Three storage startups will fail as their technologies are deemed obsolete given the rapid pace of storage innovation.. In their place, 30 companies will start up or come out of stealth mode. The pace of technology change will continue to be so rapid that being first to market may be a liability for companies that bet early on the wrong trend.
Enterprise Alternatives to Public Drop Boxes Will Gain Traction
Alternatives will emerge to offer “in-place” access to enterprise data, which will affect adoption of offerings from consume “box startups.” These in-place access solutions will provide enterprises with the security and control of the data they demand while meeting their end users’ mobile access and collaboration needs.
Object Storage Will Be in the Enterprise
In 2013 we will see the start of large-scale growth in object storage. The massive growth in the Internet of things (smart devices, remote sensors) and of mobile devices will lead to strong growth in object storage. Additionally object storage strength in the consumer cloud will begin to cross over to the enterprise.
The PaaS Shootout Will Lead to Vendor Cooperation and Openness
The cold war between PaaS platform vendors (OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and so on) will escalate. No clear winner will emerge in 2013. This will lead to more open compatibility between PaaS stacks toward the second half of the year (cross-compatibility between Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, CloudStack, and so on).
NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, and FlexPod are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. SAP is a registered trademark of SAP AG. Microsoft and Windows Server are registered trademarks and Hyper-V is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.