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TwinStrata 2014 Predictions - Bold Predictions for Cloud Storage

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Nicos Vekiarides, Founder and CEO of TwinStrata

Bold Predictions for Cloud Storage

2013 was a breakthrough year for cloud storage. A recent survey showed that 60 percent of businesses decided to store their data in the cloud, and the benefits they've begun to realize range from cost and time savings to maintenance-free storage infrastructure.

But the year also brought with it some controversy intertwined along with the successes. Whether it was high-profile cloud outages, the scramble around the Nirvanix shutdown or the daily drumbeat of data privacy stories resulting from the Snowden breach, the public was reminded constantly to remain cautious. So now, as the year nears a close, it's a good time for collective reflection about what all this means for the industry and the technology.

With all of this as context, here are four fearless predictions we at TwinStrata believe are sound bets for 2014.

  1. The air is getting thin for smaller cloud providers, particularly living in the shadow of Nirvanix. New entrants will be limited to a few larger, familiar names, while larger established providers (AWS, Google, Microsoft, etc) continue to thrive. In 2014, we'll also begin to see even industry behemoths without clear cloud direction struggle to reinvent their cloud strategy (again).

  2. Cloud backup will be relegated to cave dwellers. Businesses solely relying on cloud backup to recover their data in the case of a disaster already know that data restore times do not meet business needs (much less application restore times), but have resorted to living with that compromise. Rather than continue in their prehistoric ways, 2014 will be the year where mainstream businesses (especially in the midmarket, where affordable disaster recovery options are few and far between) begin to expand cloud backup to disaster recovery - recovering data, applications and infrastructure - in the cloud, shrinking their recovery times from days to hours while leveraging the on-demand economics of the cloud.

  3. Multiple flavors of cloud storage will become standard, making storing all types of data in the cloud much more economically viable. Expect more activity around data tiering in the cloud with cloud tiers ranging from enterprise-class to archive. Companies who are currently satisfied with one tier of service (either archive or standard) will look for ways to simultaneously support multiple tiers in the cloud as they push more and different data to the cloud. As the first set of cloud data ages, these companies will also demand automatic tiering based on age.

  4. Traditional hardware solutions labeled "cloud" will no longer fly. Traditional hardware vendors relabeling racks of equipment as cloud can no longer command massive margins and will be pushed into software as a service models or risk revenue falls from grace. Note to vendors still thinking about "cloudwashing" tired infrastructure - End-users are onto this and will force some of the big iron vendors to adapt to a services model or see revenues deteriorate.

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About the Author

Nicos Vekiarides is the CEO and co-founder of cloud-integrated storage company, TwinStrata. Nicos has spent 20 years in the data storage field, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies. Before TwinStrata, Nicos served as Vice President of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a Cisco switch fabric.

Prior to Incipient, Nicos was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard, where he managed a multi-site business, delivering several releases of network storage virtualization products and growing the business to include host-based products. Prior to StorageApps, Nicos spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, Nicos architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the $185M sale of Encore's storage division to Sun Microsystems.

Nicos holds an MS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Published Wednesday, December 04, 2013 6:38 AM by David Marshall
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