NetApp Predicts the Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010

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NetApp Predicts the Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010

NetApp started out in the early 1990s as a "nice little file server company," in the words of chairman and former longtime CEO Dan Warmenhoven. However, it has blossomed into one of the world's most respected and successful independent data storage companies in the last decade, and its prospects look excellent going into the next year. This slide show looks ahead at some of the important trends in storage technology in 2010.

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Manageability of Cloud Data Resources Is Critical

As different vendors clamor to be part of the cloud, unified management of the entire technology stack is critical. Whether public or private, tying together the different infrastructure layers - including applications, VMs, systems, networks and storage - with a comprehensive set of management tools reduces complexity by providing end-to-end service visibility, performance monitoring, and automated provisioning.

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A Shakeout Will Begin Among Cloud Service Providers

Although it is still early in evolutionary process, Darwinian selection is already starting to happen in the cloud service provider space. Super-efficient aggregators are emerging who have figured out how to get the most out of a virtualized infrastructure. Early adopters of the cloud business model will decide to abandon services delivered from their own data centers and partner with these successful service providers who have shown that they can offer enterprise class IT as a Service cheaper and with better service levels than they can do it themselves.

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Secure Multitenancy Will Become Imperative

Data centers that are deploying a cloud architecture are shifting from application centric silos to virtualized shared infrastructures. This shared environment results in multiple "tenants" or users occupying the same virtualized infrastructure. As a result, the tenants need to be assured that safe sharing occurs both from a security perspective and a performance perspective. A secure multi-tenancy solution enables this.

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Companies Must Learn to Standardize and Virtualize Their IT Resources

Most IT departments over time have accumulated a diverse set of hardware and software platforms. This model may be fine in a siloed structure where each business application has its own server and storage resource. However, in a cloud environment, this model will pose serious challenges. As a result, companies who want to realize a true service-oriented architecture will need to start by planning to standardize and consolidate first, in order to build a shared virtualized infrastructure.

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Security, Privacy Issues Will Come to the Fore

Data security is a challenge today, even in closed IT infrastructure environments. For many financial, military defense, and public security companies this issue will be even more profound in a shared and open cloud environment. Cloud service providers will need to develop a proven practice to gain the confidence of wary customers who value data security as the number one criteria in choosing a service provider.

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SLAs Will Be Essential to Effectively Measure IT Performance

The cloud will fundamentally change how IT services are offered, both internally and externally. For emerging cloud service providers, offering the right-sized Service Level Agreements will be critical to winning business and market share with potential customers. For internal cloud deployments, IT departments will need to create SLAs so that the business units and IT can determine the most efficient use of resources.

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Businesses Will Compare Internal IT Service Quality Against Public Cloud Efficiency

Many IT organizations are recreating themselves as internal "services providers" in the effort to standardize offerings and reduce costs, yet still meet the requirements of the business. By implementing "service catalogs," meaning a finite set of configurations with associated service levels, costs, and delivery times, IT organizations are able to reduce their procurement and management costs. The limited set of resources available in a catalog enables standardization which in turn creates a more predictable cost model and increases time to market.

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Standardization, Virtualization Will Drive Cloud Architectures

Standardization is critical to any service offering because it gives both the provider and the consumer a set of repeatable, measurable resources. Without standardization, every offering would be custom which would not only increase up front deployment costs and on-going management costs, but also make it difficult to measure the effectiveness of each offering as there would be no baseline.

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Companies Will Move Toward Shared, Self-Hosted Infrastructures

The move toward cloud architectures will not happen overnight. Most companies have a number of critical legacy applications in traditional siloed architectures that they will not change for any number of reasons including the introduction of too much risk, politics, organizational inertia, etc. Shared, virtualized infrastructures will become the defacto choice for new application rollouts, but enterprise organizations will continue to maintain a hybrid environment for years to come.

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Platform as a Service Will Emerge as a Major Focus in 2010

The potential for cloud computing extends beyond hypervisor-centric Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) resource-sharing. Successful software as a service (SaaS) cloud offerings today include powerful underlying PaaS engines such as Force.com, Google Apps, and Intuit QuickBase Online. These PaaS engines offer the necessary customization of otherwise rigid SaaS workflows and reports. The advent of Microsoft's Azure, coupled with a huge and loyal developer base will accelerate adoption of next-gen Cloud-centric applications. VMware's purchase of SpringSource also confirms and reinforces this trend.

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