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Igneous Systems 2018 Predictions: Software is Dead. Long Live Services.

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Steve Pao, CMO, Igneous Systems

Software is Dead. Long Live Services.

2017 was a big year for secondary storage and for Igneous as we've expanded beyond object storage to backup and archive solutions, but we're already looking forward to 2018. Here are the changes we see coming next year.

Software is dead, long live services:

The trend of "software-defined" is no longer relevant as the industry moves toward everything offered as-a-service. The vast majority of software is now delivered as-a-service. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 80% of software vendors will change their business model from traditional license and maintenance to subscription.

For example, enterprise software, including CRM software like Salesforce and HRM software like Workday, as well as personal software, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, are delivered as-a-service. In fact, you probably have a better IT infrastructure in your personal life than in your datacenter due to the services provided with your software, so it's time we focus on services - not just software in the datacenter.

Data management strategies will evolve as unstructured data growth continues:

While structured (or "block") data storage grows at 19.6%, unstructured file and object data storage grows at a rate of 29.8%, according to a 2017 IDC study. This disparity is due to the fact that block storage generally consists of data stored on legacy database and application servers, while unstructured file and object data is utilized by more modern applications.

We have seen unstructured file data continue to outpace the growth of block data in 2017 and expect this trend to continue. This rapid data growth means organizations need to evolve their data management strategies to effectively handle unstructured data.

"Cloud sobriety" will be delayed:

Chris Dagdigian of Bio-Team has predicted that enterprises will reach "cloud sobriety" as they realize that cloud spending is higher than expected. In other words, the initial enthusiasm for cloud will eventually give way to logic as enterprises evaluate their spending. As Dagdigian said in our CrowdChat on hybrid cloud, "'cloud sobriety' is a real thing. Once you get that $300,000 monthly storage bill it looks a lot more attractive to retreat back to a more pragmatic hybrid model."

However, we predict that cloud sobriety will be delayed as C-level executives won't aggressively assess hard dollar costs of cloud in 2018. The business benefits of cloud may also make the potentially higher costs worth it for enterprises.

The number of backup admins cannot grow with the rate of data:

While overall jobs in backup are growing, the traditional view of having a certain headcount per petabyte is not scalable or economical. We asked participants in our first CrowdChat, about when data can't move offsite, how many heads it takes to manage data on-premises.  Aaron Cardenas, CEO of P1 Technologies, said for primary storage it takes around 1 person per 500TB and for secondary storage it takes 1 person per 3-4 PB. As data grows exponentially, enterprises will need to seek efficiency through third party service providers.

The job of the backup admin is changing:

As more enterprises recruit third party services to help manage their growing data, the job of the backup admin will evolve. As services streamline IT tasks, IT will have more bandwidth to work with end user groups to understand their needs. For example, an Igneous customer found that using our backup solution freed up time for several people in their IT department, including the IT manager.

"[Backups] are one less thing on their list that they have to deal with," Igneous Field Product Engineer Andy Pernsteiner. "Because we're good at managing the backups for them, it makes it so they don't have to worry about it anymore."

Since third party services like Igneous make it easier for end users or application owners to access secondary data, IT will have to adjust to this new dynamic and the different kind of support end users will need.


About the Author 

Steve Pao 

Steve is CMO at Igneous. Prior to Igneous, Steve was an early executive through two IPOs - as VP of Product Management at Latitude Communications (now part of Cisco), and as SVP and GM of the Security Business at Barracuda Networks. 

Published Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:25 AM by David Marshall
RajeshN - (Author's Link) - November 21, 2017 2:33 AM

Hi Steve, this is a great blog post about Igneous Systems, also I really liked reading such an informative content as this blog post has so many data, metrics, tips, etc. Thanks much for sharing here. Cheers!

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