2Hardware Silos Will Be Redefined
As enterprises look toward converged infrastructures, the complexities associated with heterogeneity within their environments will be front and center. The road to convergence will be easier as companies can choose from physical converged infrastructure offerings—where server, storage, networking and management are included in the same chassis—or a software-based management layer that aggregates customers’ heterogeneous infrastructure investments into a virtual converged infrastructure.
340GbE Will Become the New 10GbE
The economics of the data center have changed, and they are not changing back. The value in networking is no longer in the boxes; it is in software. Year after year, fixed-form switches prove to be more powerful and space-efficient than chassis platforms. In 2014, fixed-form-factor switches will continue to out-innovate the legacy chassis, providing server-like customization, upgrades and economics. Additionally, 40GbE will go mainstream. Users can get more throughput today for half the cost that they paid just a few years ago. 40GbE holds the key to improved capacity and can provide a smooth upgrade path as the need for speedy network connections increases.
4Campus Networks Will Get Turned Inside-Out
5SDN Will See Its Defining Moment
In 2014, customers want vendors to bring order to the chaos and show the industry how software-defined networking should be implemented. In a fragmented market with numerous open-source and open-standards efforts and competing with vendor strategies, customers will vote with their wallets. Smart vendors will follow. Customers will force networking vendors to agree on a more cooperative, open approach that will make SDN practical and real.
6Flash Storage Will Become Affordable
Flash storage’s ability to handle data at much faster rates than the traditional spinning disk has organizations weighing the options of performance versus cost. Organizations will seek vendors that can combine technologies like various flash drive types (such as multi-level cell and single-level cell) with automated tiering (assigning data and applications to the most appropriate storage medium) to get all-flash performance at costs equal to disk prices today.
7Software-Defined Storage Will Show True Value
There’s much debate and market confusion on the true definition of software-defined storage (SDS), a la early days of defining “cloud computing.” The allure for SDS is about flexibility, but more significantly, reducing the overall cost of storage. Companies that manufacture servers and storage together today already offer SANs incorporating the lowest cost industry-standard servers with help from economies of scale. Offerings coined SDS options today do not provide the full-featured benefits of traditional SANs, nor do they offer full service on the storage software and the hardware on which it resides. In 2014, real-world benefits and models for the software-defined data center will become clearer.
8Server-Side Flash Will Take Off
The relationship between servers and storage will continue to evolve as customers demand a “right-now” experience. In 2014, consumers will embrace flash cache technology embedded in servers to eliminate data loss and increase response time for consumers, specifically those in industries such as health care, finance and retail, where instant transactions can redefine the customer experience.
9ARM-Based Microservers Will Proliferate
Microserver adoption will increase, especially with 64-bit ARM-based technology, Opteron, Avaton and Atom going mainstream in 2014. The 64-bit ARM-based processor demonstrates promise for storage and Web front-end environments, where advantages in dollars per gigabyte, watts per gigabyte, performance per dollar and performance per watt are critical.
10Mobile Management Will Become Paramount
11Flexible Infrastructure Will Become a Must-Have
Shared infrastructure will become more prevalent in data centers in 2014 as customers look for greater agility and simplicity at the solution stack. Organizations should expect to see simple infrastructure that is future-proof beyond what exists today in 2014. For example, we’re talking about an infrastructure where IT can more easily assemble workload-specific solutions, provision IT resources in incremental blocks as needed and rapidly adapt to changes in the business environments.