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VMblog's Expert Interviews: DataCore Talks Software-Defined, Hyperconverged and Cloud Storage Survey Results


DataCore recently concluded its 6th Annual Market Survey, receiving insights from 400+ IT professionals from around the world and discovering how they are currently using or evaluating software-defined storage (SDS), hyperconverged and cloud storage to solve their most critical data storage challenges.

To dig in deeper and better understand the results, I spoke with George Teixeira, president and CEO of DataCore

VMblog:  What surprised you the most about the research and findings?

George Teixeira:  The question "What technology disappointments or false starts have you encountered in your storage infrastructure?" yielded some surprising results.  The top three answers to this question were: cloud storage failed to reduce costs - 31%; managing object storage is difficult - 29%; and that flash failed to accelerate applications - 16%.

Also noteworthy is that the top two environments that respondents believe experience the most severe performance challenges (where storage is suspected to be the root cause) are databases and enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, etc.). The need for faster databases and data analytics is driving new requirements for technologies that optimize performance and meet demand for real-time responses. This is critical for business insights and to power technologies such as the Internet of Things. However, many feel that current technologies designed to accelerate performance and decrease latency also bring along significant disruptions to existing applications, greater complexity and higher costs.

The findings also showed that very little funding is being earmarked in 2017 for much-hyped technologies such as OpenStack storage, with 70% of respondents marking it "not applicable."

VMblog:  In your research, what did you find were the primary business drivers for implementing software-defined storage?

Teixeira:  The research revealed that the major business drivers for implementing software-defined storage were:
  • To simplify management of different models of storage - 55%;
  • To future-proof infrastructure - 53%;
  • To avoid hardware lock-in from storage manufacturers - 52%; and
  • To extend the life of existing storage assets - 47%.

Another interesting point to note is that only 6% of those surveyed said they were not considering a move to software-defined storage. These results portray a major shift in the recognition of the economic advantages in acquisition and lifetime ownership cost (reduced CAPEX and greater flexibility in purchasing power) generated by software-defined storage, versus the focus mainly on OPEX savings referenced in the earlier surveys that we have conducted.

VMblog:  What were the primary capabilities that your audience said they were looking for from their data storage investments?

Teixeira:  The majority of respondents (83%) replied that business continuity from high availability was the top concern (including capabilities such as metro clustering, synchronous mirroring), while another 73% replied that enabling storage capacity expansion without disruption was a primary capability of importance. Cost efficiency and disaster recovery (asynchronous replication to remote site) also ranked high, coming in at 65% and 60% respectively. These top two priorities were also the same in past surveys, with cost reductions for greater infrastructure lifetime savings coming in third in past years.

VMblog:  As it relates to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), you asked respondents to define hyperconverged and what problems they expected to overcome from HCI solutions.  How did participants answer?

Teixeira:  As for the definition, the answers were as follows:

  • 41%: Tightly integrated with hypervisor but hardware agnostic
  • 27%:  Integrated appliance (hardware and software locked together)
  • 17%:  Hardware and software that you put together and update independently
  • 12%:  Hardware and software bundle that can be updated independently

What is most interesting about these responses is that most analysts, as well as vendor positioning, assumes that the concepts of hyperconverged and appliance are synonymous, meaning that hyperconverged is not a pure software solution, agnostic to hardware, but that it must be sold as an integrated appliance. This survey suggests that buyers think otherwise, with 41% of respondents believing that hyperconverged is software that is tightly integrated with the hypervisor but is hardware agnostic. In fact, only 27% of those surveyed felt hyperconverged required an integrated appliance, whereas in total, 70% saw hyperconverged as either hardware agnostic or offering the ability to update software independently of the hardware.

As for the problems it solves, the number one reason respondents gave for why they are evaluating or currently deploying hyperconverged systems included simplify management (48%); have something that was easy to scale out (39%); and reduce hardware cost (35%). Clearly, simplification stands out as the main driver for users to choose to go hyperconverged.

VMblog:  What technologies ranked high for respondents' 2017 planned storage infrastructure spending?

Teixeira:  Software-defined storage topped the charts in 2017 spending, with 16% reporting that software-defined storage represented 11-25% of their allocated budget, and 13% representing that it made up more than 25% of their allocated budget for storage (the highest of any category). This was followed by flash technology with 11% responding that the technology made up more than 25% of their allocated budget for storage with 14% of survey participants putting flash in the 11-25% of total budget category.

To view the entire report, including additional findings on software-defined storage, hyperconverged storage, cloud storage, and related storage technologies, please visit:


Published Monday, August 14, 2017 7:26 AM by David Marshall
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