I wanted to put a post out there outlining where i think things will head this new year…. based purely around the storage, virtualisation, converged and data centre technologies the arena that i work in.

Along with these predictions i also want to outline my goals and objectives around blogging content, exams and other such like topics.

Last year my contenders for the big things to embrace the market were Flash, Clustered Ontap and Hybrid Cloud. This year here are my thoughts on 2015….

The continuance growth of adoption to Hybrid Cloud
The backend of 2014 saw a big jump around Hybrid Cloud offerings, something that was a buzz word at the start of the year and before is now actually a reality, sorry i should say there has been a private and public cloud offering for a few years now but the limitation was the being able to move in and out in a timley fashion. Something that has been addressed by many in the backend of 2014 with the release of certain products. To compliment these products though there had to be a framework for an IT department to utilise i believe we have seen a growth around these offerings with the like of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google and there are a lot more to mention….

Flexibility will be the biggest issue facing storage in the coming year” was said by Sean Horne CTO of EMC, and quite frankly this is true in my opinion. being able to move my data from my own data center to a cloud provider and back again is the key to this being a viable solution. Sean also went on to say about the Security & Compliance dicating the decisions for companies moving to a hybrid cloud model.

From my point of view i believe this model or movement will continue to grow in 2015 and i for one am excited to see this evolve and be apart of this, my key focus being around NetApp and VMware both of which are really involved with this movement. Something i really want to touch on it’s own post later on in the month.

I believe the biggest uptake to a Hybrid Cloud model would be around Disaster Recovery and Archival i then think we will see the burst workload followed by more in house applications being allowed to move freely between sites.

Software Defined ???
We have also seen a huge uptake on the “Storage Defined….” offerings. This is only going to continue to grow… what parts this is what i think.

People that have been in this game for a years will know that Software Defined… is the new term for Virtualisation.

What is Software Defined…. ?

1. Decoupling and abstracting controle and policy from the physical stuff that does work.
2. Where the physical stuff that does the work can be software on commodity hardare.
3. Programmable infrastructure APIs : Automate Everything.

Why Software Defined…. ?

1. Reduce infrastructure “fragility” by abstraction and reducing operational complexity
2. Increase Agility.
3. Open up new architectural options.

Software Defined Everything – which basically means the virtualising of everything in the datacentre and beyond, compute, storage and networks.

This is clearly the latest buzz word in the IT industry however things are progressing and some are just maturing certain vendors have been doing Software Defined Storage for years. However i believe 2015 will see a big increase in Software Defined Networking, not being much of a Network Guy i will be trying to attend some more in depth training around certain SDN offerings.


I did want to add something about Flash for 2015, it’s not going away and its the new must have for any Enterprise Infrastructure, the key to making that decision of having Flash is where do you have it? Does the workload warrant a complete all flash array? or is it just a particular workload that requires some Flash.

Although the cost is coming down for Enterprise Flash there is still a very small use case for people walking away from traditional spinning disks for some of their workloads. I believe we will see a continued increase around Hybrid Arrays, we may also see some very niche use cases for all flash arrays and everything in between won’t go away and there will be a use case somewhere.

My last topic that i believe will become even bigger will be the Converged Infrastructure vs Hyper-Coverged Infrastructure, even if it was a vs debate.


Converged Infrastructure is an approach to data center management that relies on a specific vendor and the vendor’s partners to provide pre-configured bundles of hardware and software in a single chassis.

The key different between Converged Infrastructure and HyperConverged Infrastructure is that it is made up of these building blocks and of which these blocks can be used on their own and not part of the solution when not fully configured. This also means that additional blades, storage etc can be added to the CI during it’s lifetime.

in a HyperConverged Infrastructure the technology is Software Defined.... this means the underlining building blocks cannot be broken.

Duncan Epping from VMware’s EVO:RAIL (aka MARVIN) team suggests that upfront costs for converged systems need to be taken into account when considering upgrading a company’s infrastructure. For hyper-converged systems, he says integration with existing infrastructure and figuring out how to manage different platform needs to be included in the financial considerations as well.

While many of the vendors that provide components and systems in the converged market are established vendors, EMC, Cisco, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard, for example, Epping says, “Some vendors in the hyper-converged space are relatively new; can you trust them with your mission-critical workloads?”

Not all of the companies offering hyper-converged offerings are new, however. Among the established IT vendors with hyper-converged products are the aforementioned EMC, Dell, Nutanix and Epping’s own VMware. Though VMware is a bit unique, as Epping explains, “EVO:RAIL is not a pure VMware offering, it is a partner program that enables customers to select a hyper-converged offering from their preferred vendor.”

I believe we will see a lot more around the HyperConverged market, but i don’t see a VS here, there are use cases for each option and it’s always going to come down to cost vs requirement as it always has.

From my point of view, the HyperConverged arena worries me slightly. in researching VMware EVO:RAIL it’s such a simple solution and with very little need for Professional Services, is this the year if this stuff takes off that Professional Services are the guys that take the hit…. or is there always a place for Consulting services???

I am excited to see what happens this year in our IT world, in particular the Hybrid Cloud, it’s been a buzz word for so long “Cloud” and now there is a realisation of being able to move in and out with no lengthy time frames. If you want to see an interview i did with Richi Jennings at NetApp Insight Berlin 2014 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR4o0kIwhvc

I think some other key things to mention for the upcoming year are the following:

·         Data Growth continues to accelerate.

·         Data dependency place more demands on IT.

·         So many Service Delivery options

·         Massive rate of technology change, new solutions, buzz words and ideas.

I would normally at this stage list off the massive personal Exam & Training plan for the upcoming year, quite frankly this hasn’t really changed too much since last year. When i was setting goals i honestly didn’t think a new born baby would prevent my study time. I was very wrong abou that prediction. For the year i will be concentrating on my key technologies these will include NetApp, Cisco DC, Veeam, VMware and Microsoft.

As always if you have any questions then please ping them across.

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