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Tintri 2021 Predictions: Intelligent Infrastructure Trends for the Anytime, Anywhere Workforce

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Intelligent Infrastructure Trends for the Anytime, Anywhere Workforce

By Tomer Hagay, CTO and head of product at Tintri

While plexiglass dividers, floor decals and one-way walkways might not be permanent, one thing that is certain - the remote work environment is here to stay. Based on our own experiences with partners and customers, alongside the shifts in the industry from this year, following are some key trends to look out for in 2021.

1.  Intelligent Infrastructure and Automation Will Enhance the "New Normal" Workplace

Whether working from home, safely from an office or a mix of both, organizations quickly realized the need to deploy IT solutions that enable anywhere, anytime access for workers - securely and at-scale. In 2020, mobility and the need to support remote workers drove VDI and End-User Computing (EUC) adoption. Unfortunately, many organizations came to realize that it is nearly impossible to add virtual desktops to most existing IT infrastructures, as conventional storage is not designed for highly virtualized environments and can't keep pace with VDI demands. Unlike server virtualization, VDI workloads are relatively small, unpredictable and usually deployed in large quantities. Since VDI replaces the end user's desktop, responsiveness must be "snappy." Even the slightest lag or delay can and will lead to frustrations, requiring IT administrators to tune and tweak their systems many times per day.

Leveraging public cloud resources, which has become the answer to many modern IT challenges, ends up being costly and often does not deliver the desired results either. In addition, the shift toward remote work pushed IT departments to take on additional tasks such as monitoring network bandwidth and access controls to ensure employees can still do their jobs, further straining existing infrastructure and forcing IT to shuffle resources in order to meet changing demands.

Intelligent Infrastructure closes the gap between the amount of infrastructure that must be managed and the humans available to manage it. Using machine learning to provide self-tuning, predictive analytics insight and awareness into business functionality, including automatic actions or recommendations to increase efficiencies, Intelligent Infrastructure provides simplified operations, reduced IT burdens, costs and complexity, and an overall better experience for IT staff. As organizations face the next normal, Intelligent Infrastructure will continue to make working from home a seamless reality. No matter what uncertainty 2021 may bring, organizations can be certain that their remote workers can be productive and not concern themselves with backend infrastructure or have to worry about slow desktop performance. During these times teams can and should shift their focus from managing storage to managing strategic services and activities that drive business success.

2.  Creativity is Key for Customer & Partner Engagement

Face-to-face interaction at tradeshows and events has always played a critical role for tech companies to generate new leads, allowing them to showcase new technologies and use cases, demonstrate industry expertise and maintain relationships with partners. With the advent of COVID-19, events have gone from in-person to virtual, and marketers and lead gen teams have had to pivot and change their approach to accomplishing those goals.

In 2021, companies will have to consider new avenues to take when it comes to finding new creative ways to bolster engagement and navigate through virtual event participation fatigue. As such, we can expect to see more collaboration between businesses and its partners in joint marketing and integrated campaign initiatives, as well as virtual events that are not tied to traditional industry tradeshows. Such events may include creative virtual events like virtual chats, Laugh and Learns, trivia game nights, virtual wine events and more. Additionally, we will start to observe new delivery platforms like the use of virtual reality for business collaborations and for medium scale events. Businesses will also need to find inventive new ways to maintain relationships with existing customers while getting in front of new prospects. Given this, we may see businesses adding on extra incentives like offering a rewards program or providing an interactive platform that allows customers to connect, collaborate and exchange ideas, in order to stand out from the crowd.

3.  Ransomware Attacks and New Acquisitions Will be Driven by the Economy

The global health crisis brought about a mass migration to work-at-home environments. The unprecedented number of remote users on home and public internet services accessing employer and school resources subjects these organizations to increased vulnerabilities. Ransomware attacks have become a sad reality, particularly for the growing number of unprepared businesses that did not set or expand security policies for systems outside of the office. Sophisticated phishing strategies, combined with ongoing advancements in malware, allow cyber criminals to take control of more data than ever before, often before anyone in IT is aware. Business interruptions caused by temporary or permanent disruption of access to data and intellectual property can prove to be economically devastating. Even if data access is restored, the brand and customer impact can be severe, if not unrecoverable.

Unfortunately, if the economy continues to struggle, we will continue to see more ransomware attacks and an increase in acquisitions of companies that have been hit hard due to the pandemic. As described earlier, VDI allows remote users to access their employer or school resources while adhering to all the security standards set by the organization. Still, additional protection layers are required. Backup capabilities are often at the forefront of a Ransomware recovery plan but backup software itself has become a target for the same attacks, leaving administrators with no recovery options. Data protection capabilities from the infrastructure such as storage snapshots can help but are limited and not produced at the right granularity. This is where Intelligent Infrastructure can also help, by providing IT staff with a different approach to safeguard against ransomware that is virtual machine (VM)-centric versus storage unit centric. With Intelligent Infrastructure, IT experts also benefit from quick and easy ways to stage and restore data as needed, while analyzing VM-level analytics to detect any changes in application behavior that could indicate a ransomware event. This capability addresses the attack at a granular level, ensuring that a ransomware outbreak can be address quickly and efficiently, instead of issuing a corrective action against a much larger data set such as a LUN or a volume. 


About the Author

Tomer Hagay, CTO and Head of Product, Tintri

Tomer Hagay 

Tomer brings over 20 years of experience in the IT space, focusing on virtualization, cloud automation, service orchestration, and data center management for enterprise and service providers. Tomer leverages years of firsthand problem-solving experience along with the vision to drive product innovation and value. Tomer also serves as an advisor to the European Commission, where he reviews and evaluates future cloud architectures and deployment milestones. Before working at Tintri, Tomer spent 10 years at Cisco, both as a leader and a technical expert.

Published Wednesday, December 16, 2020 7:42 AM by David Marshall
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