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Catalogic Software 2016 Predictions: The Growing Synergy of All-Flash Storage and Copy Data Management

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Peter Eicher, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Catalogic Software

The Growing Synergy of All-Flash Storage and Copy Data Management

I'll start my prediction with a statement that almost nobody would be willing to bet against: Flash storage will continue to grow rapidly in 2016 and beyond. Not a very daring prediction when Gartner is estimating that all-flash sales in 2017 will be five times what they were in 2014. That's an incredible rate of adoption.

But the growth in all-flash platforms is less interesting than the new use cases this will drive. As Robin Ren, CTO of XtemeIO at EMC put it, "[All-flash] technology won't be about making what you have run faster as much as it will be about enabling the creation of new business processes and competitive advantages that don't exist today." 

While this is true, there's a potential fly in the ointment. Driving new business processes is going to remain just as difficult as it is today unless IT departments find better tools and better ways of doing things. Yes, flash will make your newly developed workload run much faster, but by itself it's not going to solve the ongoing operational challenges faced by test/dev teams, DevOps focused groups, business analytics teams and so on who struggle with manual copy processes, complex scripting and other time-consuming, inefficient processes.

This is where copy data management (CDM) solutions will close the gap. CDM has been bubbling in the tech world for a few years, but in 2015 it began a break out, and 2016 will prove to be the year that CDM becomes a must-have mainstream technology. As Trevor Pott put it, "CDM... promises to replace decades of accumulated script cruft and half functional backup applications with something streamlined and easy to use." 

Put another way, the synergy between all-flash storage and CDM will become too obvious to ignore. You can do so much more with flash and its massive I/O potential, but you need to streamline processes. And streamlining processes through copy automation and self-service access is exactly what CDM does. It's win-win, and smart organizations will realize the competitive benefits of being early to the game.  

I have to admit that my "prediction" is based on what we are seeing frequently today. At Catalogic, we have several customers leveraging our all software CDM platform ECX to manage their copies on flash, and our strategic partner IBM is putting a big push behind the joint ECX and IBM V9000 all flash solution.

I'll go a step further in my prediction around flash and CDM. We're already past the first generation of all-flash devices as vendors are now delivering second-gen platforms. That means a lot of older but still very high performance systems are going to face decommission and repurposing. Why not deploy them as backup devices? That's right, I'm predicting that towards the end of 2016 we will start to see all-flash systems deployed as backup targets. But legacy backup methods, constrained by host resource limitations, are too slow to take advantage of the abundance of flash IOPS. All-flash secondary systems will be driven by copy data management solutions orchestrating and automating array-to-array copy processes. And that lets me jump ahead a year to predict that 2017 will be the year that we see the pervasive deployment in the market of ultra-fast protection architectures that will protect and, most importantly, recover data faster than you would have thought possible only a few year ago.  

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About the Author

Peter Eicher is Senior Product Marketing Manager at Catalogic Software. He has worked in multiple facets of enterprise software for over 20 years, including data management and protection, security and network monitoring, and is a frequent contributor to industry discussions via blogging and trade journal publications.

Published Friday, December 11, 2015 9:02 AM by David Marshall
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