December 10 I had a webcast discussing IT trends for 2015 with George Crump of Storage Switzerland and Greg Knieriermen Technology Evangelist for HDS who is known outside of HDS for his podcasts "Speaking in Tech" which is distributed by the Register.
This discussion was based on the four posts I published on the IT trends that I see for 2015. George and Greg were pretty much in agreement with the trends that I identified:
- Business Defined IT
- Accelerated Adoption of Converged and Hyper Converged Platforms
- Management Automation
- Software Defined
- Global Virtualization
- Greater Focus on Data Recovery and Management of Data Protection Copies
- Increasing Intelligence in Enterprise Flash Modules
- Big Data and Internet of Things
- Data Lakes for Big Data Analytics
- Hybrid Cloud Gains Traction
One of the questions raised by Greg was what George and I thought about the commoditization of IT and whether that would mean buying cheap infrastructure in the future. What role does hardware infrastructure play now and into the future?
George had an interesting take. Software defined, hyper convergence and cloud all need to become more than just saving money. These trends should drive down costs but they also should make IT better. IT faces two basic problems; not enough budget and not enough staff. Commoditization helps address problem one but does little to address problem two. George also said that the case can be made that commoditization can make it worse as he had posted on Storage Switzerland (http://bit.ly/13dTtrT) The costs for commoditization can add up. “If the above initiatives can also help with problem 2 and simplify IT while providing greater insight, then we have a winner!”
I believe most people will agree that converged solutions and cloud will simplify IT as well as drive costs down if used in the right way. However, software defined is often viewed as a way to commoditize hardware. I don’t see that. Software defined will never be better than the base capabilities of the hardware. George points out in his post that he refers to above: “The key to the software defined crowd’s claim is that it’s ok to use less reliable hardware (a.k.a commodity) because software defined solutions can build in multiple points of redundancy. And for the most part this is accurate. But that redundancy costs money.”
I view software defined not as a way to commoditize infrastructure like storage but as a way to simplify the implementation of hardware and create a synergy between the hardware and software. A good example is VMware’s VVOL. This enables Hitachi to publish unique hardware and software capability, like global active device, through the VASA API so that vSphere can utilize that capability in the definition of a virtual volume while providing the Hitachi storage with awareness of virtual machines so that our storage can allocate resources to VM’s rather than to storage constructs like LUNs. Innovations in hardware infrastructure will still play an important role in the future and software defined interfaces will enables users to easily integrate that into a solution stack.
To listen to a recording of this webcast and see what else was discussed please go to On-Demand WebTech: Top 10 Business Trends Driving IT in 2015. I would also like to get your feedback on what you think will be the major trends in 2015 here: Q&A - Top 10 Business Trends Driving IT in 2015.