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FalconStor Software 2015 Predictions: Better Choices and Better Economics for the Management of Modern Infrastructures


 

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Gary Quinn, CEO FalconStor Software

Better Choices and Better Economics for the Management of Modern Infrastructures

After nearly 15 years in business, it's fair to say FalconStor has seen its share of changes in the storage industry," says FalconStor CEO, Gary Quinn. While not without its challenges, we believe the upcoming year will bring positive changes overall, and the net result is users will see better choices and better economics for the management of modern infrastructures.

Software-defined Sleight-of-Hand

While the software-defined datacenter will become a best practice in modern infrastructure, users will grow disgruntled when they find out many products called software-defined are indeed hardware- and vendor-dependent. There will be a backlash against industry players that aren't approaching the software-defined environment as an open, fair, community-minded platform. All too often, freedom isn't free: "software-defined" solutions are often merely a ploy for further lock-in. We will also see increasing customer demand for extending software-defined architectures to back-end functions like backup and archive. Whether called converged, hyper-converged, software-defined, or something else, horizontal connectivity from endpoint to endpoint across the enterprise will be key.

Intelligent Abstraction vs. Virtualization

Because of this trend towards openness, I believe 2015 will bring more of a focus on intelligent abstraction. Intelligent abstraction is more than the separation of physical hardware from applications, workloads and other network functions, or extending the principles of virtualization to the broader datacenter. It's what allows applications to be deployed in the cloud, and what moves a file from one location to another automatically based on access patterns. Intelligent abstraction lets users decouple hardware, networks, and protocols; manage physical, virtual, active, inactive, local, or remote systems with the same tools. Let's face it; it's not in the best interests of hardware vendors to embrace intelligent abstraction, so this will require a grassroots effort on the part of end users who demand it.

Is the Flash Mob Over?

Solid-state arrays are now available from a huge amount of vendors. There are small players making lots of noise, and big players lumbering along into large account wins as usual. As flash moves mainstream, there's less and less likelihood of the kind of innovation we saw even one or two years ago. Product differentiation in array hardware is slim to none; the secret sauce tends to be in the software stack, and vendors with a lackluster or immature software component will be weeded out unless they can catch up quickly. Providing data services along with the array is so critical and so nuanced that any new vendors to emerge with a truly different, better management software will be acquired posthaste.

Decreasing Chance of Public Clouds

Public cloud providers are to be commended for offering value and flexibility; however, there is justifiable concern about their viability since they are still failing to make a sustainable profit. We expect to see more attention and investment in private, non-sharable cloud infrastructures, either in response to, or - fingers crossed, in advance of - negative news about one or more public cloud companies. Resellers transforming to a cloud/managed services model face the challenge of establishing customer trust, in addition to the business and technical challenges of ramping up services. (Handing your business data to a cloud provider is like dropping your toddler twins at a new preschool: fraught with emotion, self-doubt, yet tinged with hope.)

The Migration Headache

Those who are moving data to a cloud or MSP, away from a cloud, from one insolvent cloud provider to a still-solvent one, in between physical sites, from old storage to new, or even from one virtualization platform to another (such as VMware to Hyper-V) will learn the hard way: migration is painful. As these changes (and others) unfold in 2015, enterprises will find themselves with multiple petabytes that must be migrated and managed over the WAN. Unfortunately, this does not happen at the speed of business, and can cost into the hundreds of thousands depending on the capacity to be moved. The cost, complexity, and inefficiency of data migration will be prohibitive for many users, and may keep them from implementing better data protection operations unless there is relief fast.

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About the Author

Gary Quinn is FalconStor's president and chief executive officer. Mr. Quinn joined FalconStor in April 2012 as vice president of sales and marketing for North America. In April 2013, he was named executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO). With more than 20 years at CA Technologies, Mr. Quinn last served as executive vice president of international sales and North American channel sales. In his executive sales role at CA, Mr. Quinn turned around a three-year decline of the company's North American channel business to an annual growth rate of 25 percent. He has more than 15 years of executive experience in the rapidly evolving field of technology, specifically within the partner community, assisting in generating revenue streams and strengthening relationships. Most recently, Mr. Quinn was the commissioner of information technology (CIO) at Suffolk County Department of Information Technology. He received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Hofstra University. 
Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014 10:38 AM by David Marshall
Comments
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:57 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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