2013 could be called the “Year of Innovation” for the storage industry. Increased growth in enterprise and personal data, larger application workloads, and demand for greater performance all contributed to the need to innovate.
NAND flash, advanced networking capabilities, and automated tiering software have helped companies handle growing storage volumes. However, none of these advancements has changed the face of storage as much as virtualization.
The wide adoption of virtualization is creating new opportunities in the storage industry. Here are four ways virtualization is creating big business for this market.
1. Over-provisioning of Storage Will Run Its Course
General-purpose, disk-based storage cannot handle the random I/O streams in virtual environments, so organizations tend to overprovision storage to meet demand. As a result, more than 60 percent of typical VMware deployment costs are attributed to storage. In 2013, more companies will recognize that their storage costs go beyond their predicted ROI for virtualization projects and will look for ways to virtualize more efficiently.
2. VDI Goes Beyond the Misconceptions
The storage industry has come a long way in proving previous myths wrong, such as the misconception that virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, can’t be done economically, or that it is too complicated to manage. Now, storage efficiency derived from flash-based storage with virtualization-aware management capabilities makes VDI economically attractive. Companies are figuring out what virtualization is really about, and they have even found new uses for VDI.
3. Increased Focus on Quality of Service
Virtualization demands the kind of storage that understands the I/O patterns of a virtual environment and automatically manages quality of service (QoS) for each VM. Flash allows dense storage systems that can host thousands of VMs in just a few rack units of space. With such high densities, QoS features that administrators can understand and easily use are becoming more critical.
4. Software-Defined Data Centers Are Gaining Traction
Administrators desire infrastructure that is fundamentally more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective. These issues are now taking center stage in the virtualization industry. Architects seek infrastructure that understands application workloads and can allocate resources to match the application demands. Instead of constructing data centers full of over-provisioned resources, software-defined data centers offer a way to more efficiently use and share all aspects of the infrastructure, from networking to storage.
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