Three reasons enterprise storage is NOT dying

A hard drive being circled by a moving arrow

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2016

Flattened volume sales and cloud hype suggest that the era of enterprise storage is dead. Add in vendors concerns regarding margins being eroded by all-flash storage consolidation (one all-flash array can easily replace several spinning disk equivalents), and it does indeed appear on-site storage is entering a death spiral.

But the reality is that storage sales remain static, not declining. There’s even reason to believe that emerging technologies will see on-site storage sales increase as these three technologies gain wider acceptance:

Blockchain nodes

The storage industry is currently battling with the huge volumes of data created by Internet of Things sensors. As the number of sensors deployed grows, the data they generate increases exponentially – and it all needs to be stored.

This emphasis means that many are ignoring the challenge posed by Blockchain. As with IoT, the actual transaction data created by Blockchain transactions is relatively small, currently capped at around 1MB each.

But as the system grows, so does the number of transactions that need to be stored to maintain its integrity. Businesses will need to invest in high-performing storage to facilitate the fastest transactions too – a role that has always been best performed by on-site storage.

It is also important to note that as Blockchain technology matures, the physical size of each transaction is likely to double or triple in the near future.

Data lakes

To make data analysis easy, Big Data advocates suggest creating ‘data lakes’ to pool information from all sources centrally. But without the right analytics tools to cross physical boundaries, the lake must be situated on-site, or in the cloud.

Start-up Hedvig has built a software defined storage layer that transparently links cloud and on-site storage into a single virtual data lake to solve this problem. Using Hedvig, data scientists are able to access and manipulate data assets, regardless of where they are physically stored.

This technology has yet to mature however, meaning that on-site storage still has a part to play in the Big Data revolution – EMC’s Federation Business Data Lake product is testament to that fact.

Making more intelligent use of storage options

Both on-site and cloud storage technologies have their uses, and it is becoming increasingly clear that neither will completely replace the other. Instead on- and off-site storage will co-exist as businesses get better at defining the operations best suited to each scenario.

To learn more about your storage future and how CDS can help you navigate the common pitfalls, please get in touch.