Many building blocks lead to a successful digitalization of companies. The intelligent selection and interpretation of the relevant data from the increasing abundance of data determines how competitive and future-oriented the company develops. Agile action and cultural change alone are not enough: Strategic investments in the right IT infrastructure with good performance are required. For the Digital Infrastructure Innovation 2020 study, Crisp Research AG interviewed 179 IT, digitization and business decision-makers from over ten industry segments about their future storage strategies.
Private, public or hybrid: cloud services belong to the future
Cloud services offer companies the greatest possible flexibility with regard to the storage systems in question: they are efficient and scalable and grow with the business. The system is an attractive solution for start-ups as well as for fast-growing companies. Instead of opting for a solution in the private or public cloud, one in five companies now combines both systems in a hybrid cloud.
In any case, it is important to the companies that they can control the data streams, access their data at any time and protect it sustainably. Against this background, the in-house data center remains the most important storage location and data protection an important task. The study participants plan to increase their budget for innovative storage applications to 28 percent, thus sending a clear signal for prioritizing digital transformation.
New services for secure and fast management of large volumes of data
In the age of Big Data, large e-commerce sites as well as on-demand streaming services prefer all flash arrays in order to process even large amounts of data and high transaction rates very quickly. The price of flash memory chips has recently fallen, so more companies are investing in this innovative technology. Around 70 percent of the companies surveyed in the study are already evaluating flash-based storage systems and planning to introduce them. A smaller number of servers, a higher storage density and lower energy consumption are positive side effects of all flash arrays. Experts already see the consolidation platform of all flash arrays as the new storage standard for companies.
At the same time, the study shows that Hyper Converged Infrastructures (HCI) and Software Defined Storage are becoming increasingly important.
The HCI is a combined solution consisting of server, storage and network components with higher-level management software. The HCI has recently gained popularity because it is preconfigured and can therefore be implemented comparatively easily and operated intuitively. It is also energy-efficient and scalable.
Strategic storage management with innovative tools
Together with Software Defined Networking (SDN), Software Defined Storage (SDS) forms the basis for a data center that is completely defined by software and offers its services automatically. The decisive factor in this concept is the separation of data storage from hardware.
The innovative and open standard driver Non Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is gaining in importance as the software interface succeeds in reducing the latencies between the server or controller and the NVMe drives.
Also of interest are open source storage software such as CentOS, Ceph, Docker, FreeBSD, Linux, Swift and ZFS, which lower the entry barriers for new SDS or storage systems and provide further impetus. Compared to traditional storage, open source storage software has lower costs and the ability to scale for large amounts of data.
The study has clearly shown that strategic management of the IT infrastructure plays a central role in the course of digitization. Companies must find the right storage solution for their needs in order to store critical data securely and manage it efficiently.