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Infinio 2015 Predictions: Scott Davis Brings a Long-term Storage and Virtualization Industry Perspective for 2015

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

Contributed article by Scott Davis, CTO of Infinio and former EUC CTO at VMware

Scott Davis Brings a Long-term Storage and Virtualization Industry Perspective for 2015

This has been an exciting year for enterprise technologies and trends.  Here are some of my thoughts on what's coming in 2015.  For even more predictions around storage, be sure to visit the Infinio blog when you're done reading this one. 

1.      End of the corporate LAN (Part 1)

Remember the corporate file share? I do--kind of nostalgically. They still exist in most corporations, but I haven't used one in many years, and I suspect I'm not alone. Cloud-based sync and share solutions (such as Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box, etc.) are everywhere, and are either free, bundled with other capabilities, or available at a nominal cost. And these providers are actively rolling out enterprise features. These technologies are pervasive, and are becoming the new corporate repository. Expect improved search, organization and business protection in this space, while corporate file shares continue to fade into irrelevance.

2.      End of the corporate LAN (Part 2)

The corporate LAN used to be an important boundary to protect. When all applications and data were behind the firewall, and off-premise remote connectivity was occasional and over a VPN, that made sense. Today, however, we live in a mobile and hybrid cloud world. Application components and data are not just within the corporation; they are spread out across public, private and hybrid clouds. And we are increasingly connecting externally as well, on our mobile devices over the public Internet. Many of our longstanding security assumptions, technologies and practices need a complete rethink. The focus needs to shift from protecting no-longer-relevant physical-based boundaries to protecting content over unsecured pipes and end points. Expect new firms and techniques to arise in 2015 to address this fundamental shift in security.

3.      Mobile conversation shifts focus

When you listen to vendors, EMM/MDM/MAM seems to be the epicenter of the mobile conversation. However, these technologies are all about some level of mobile device or content "management" in an increasingly fluid and Bring Your Own Device/consumer-centric world. PC lifecycle management arose because a functioning Windows desktop was required for folks to get their work done, and Windows PCs exhibited complex, stateful entropy over time due to a variety of Microsoft design choices. Since mobile devices and their OS designs have much more variety and do not have the same level of eventual entropy as Windows PCs have exhibited, I maintain that a corporate-managed mobile device is far less important.

Mobile devices generally work just fine without EMM, as my friend and colleague Brian Madden pointed out.  A lot of the value of EMM comes down to a feature of PC management - remote wiping when somebody leaves and/or having a backup copy of their documents/email in the enterprise. Before PCs, IP protection was about agreeing to not make or take copies of paper documents when you left a company. EMM in all its varieties hardly seems like a strong, mandatory value prop to me. I predict the conversation to shift in focus from this optional, niche feature to what I would call real mobile enablement - how to enable business applications in a consumer-driven, mobile world to make folks more productive - and away from how to prevent a corner case of an employee leaving with company assets.

4.      A shakeup in storage architecture into a performance layer and a capacity layer

I expect big data to continue to run amok with a vast expansion of unstructured data from the Internet of Things. To be useful, this data will need both cost-effective storage capacity and high-performance access for real-time analytics. These are two different dimensions for storage, and I think we'll see them start to evolve from a less coupled model with a one-size-fits-all storage architecture to something more specialized. I predict 2015 will see the emergence of purchasing and deploying storage performance separately from storage capacity in order to reconcile these competing demands.

5.      Corporate IT strategists backpedal from benchmarking against Google or Facebook

My friend and former VMware colleague Duncan Epping wrote a really provocative and insightful post where he makes a very important point. Corporate IT is not Facebook/Google/Netflix. No matter how state-of-the-art or aspirational these behemoths may look, they are primarily running a single scale-out application at a far greater scale than any application running inside your corporation. Applying their methodologies blindly to a heterogeneous corporate environment is applying the wrong designs and solutions to the wrong problems, no matter how attractive it might appear on paper. I think we'll see less citing of Google and Facebook as blueprints for IT operations going forward.

To read the rest of my predictions for storage in 2015, visit Infinio's blog.


About the Author

As CTO, Scott Davis drives product and technology strategy for Infinio while also acting as a key public-facing company evangelist. He joined Infinio following seven years at VMware, where he was CTO for VMware's End User Computing Business Unit. He earlier served as VMware's Chief Data Center and Storage Architect in the Corporate CTO Office. Prior to VMware, he was president, CTO and co-founder of Virtual Iron Software, which was acquired by Oracle and became the core of OracleVM. Earlier, he was CTO at Mangosoft, an Internet software and storage company with pioneering peer-to-peer clustering, caching and file system products. Scott holds 16 US patents for clustering, storage and virtualization technologies, and his products have won awards at Comdex, Demo and LinuxWorld. 

Published Friday, December 19, 2014 12:58 PM by David Marshall
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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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