I recently became aware of a new talent joining the San Jose Sharks line up, Timo Meier. Called up from the Shark’s AHL affiliate, the Barracuda, he surprised fans by scoring his first NHL goal on his first shot against arguably the league’s best goalie, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.
Gartner recent published a surprising stat: By 2020, 30% of organizations will leverage backup for more than just operational recovery, up from less than 10% at the beginning of 2016. They cite specific uses beyond just backup to include disaster recovery, test/development and DevOps. This leading, global technology analyst sees change coming for secondary storage. We see a key reason being the diffusion of Flash memory benefits across the entire storage product category, similar to how key innovations are shared across other familiar product categories.
Innovations Crossing Product Segments
One example I like to use is how in automobiles it doesn’t take long for new features – whether for performance, convenience, efficiency, etc. – to cross over from $70,000 sedans down to $13,000 compacts. We take it for granted, especially when it pertains to Safety features. You can see this today in the Ford Fiesta.
Considered one of the “cheapest cars of the year”, the Ford Fiesta comes with the expected standard equipment for a popular compact car, but also key features that compare with top of the line models. Supposedly they can be ordered with Turbocharging, Direct fuel injection, automated Parking assistance and even Key-less entry. All features you would also find in a top of the line sedan.
Similarly, I’m expecting to see Flash memory performance benefits cascading across the segments of familiar IT products in the new year.
Put your Backup to Work
Experts have already predicted in past years the ascension of Flash memory in enterprise storage. This was made simple by the relative differences in the slopes of the hard-drive and flash drive cost curves, with the mechanically-based hard disk drive unable to achieve the same cost decline that Flash could, with its more semiconductor-like economies of scale. It was only a matter of predicting “when” HDD/SSD price per GB would approach parity, not “if”.
Back to the Gartner prediction, specifically about how organizations will leverage backup for more than just operational recovery, we are presented with a future of what we term “Active Backup”. This is the idea that backup data, traditionally trapped in a system optimized for ingest, but not recovery, should be also accessible for more active duty than just being a dormant insurance policy against primary system outages or accidental data deletions. We believe the key to putting the ‘active’ into ‘backup’ is Flash memory. The same technology that is enabling primary storage to top 1 million IOPS, is the same innovation that will allow IT teams to leverage backup data for everything from Patch testing, to Test/Dev, to analytics and reporting.
We expect the leverage of flash across the range of data storage offerings, from Primary to Secondary, to unlock new value from previously trapped data, speed up administrative tasks and increase overall IT operational efficiency.
What is your favorite recent Enterprise Storage innovation? Better yet, what new data center innovations do you except to really stand out in the coming year? Share your comments and predictions.