The age of the “SAN” is changing

I normally don’t post content in my Blog that would be considered “controversial” but i’m sure this post would be labeled as just that.  You can see from my previous posts that were more forward looking thought-based, than technical, I have a firm belief in the big changes that are ahead of us in the Data Center.  I have been a strong proponent of solutions that come from certain companies that are bringing Simplicity to the Data Center.  Those at the forefront are VMware, Nutanix, SimpliVity for their solutions which fully integrate the “stacks” of Infrastructure we see today with simple policy based management without sacrificing the required performance and protection that our Customer’s require, and, they are doing this at a much lower entry level cost.

Since technologies like VSAN, and “VSA’s” (and i’m using this term very loosly regarding Hyper-Converged tech) are starting to gain traction and helping collapse Data Services, Protection, Policies into simple, easy to use, interfaces, the SAN becomes less important.  We will start seeing this even moreso, when SSD becomes fully commodity and less expensive with higher capacities and longer MTBF rates, and Hyper-Converged tech fully supporting 100% SSD within their solutions.

Now, i’m not saying that the SAN will go away but I am saying traditional array performance models, may start to diminish, while capacity model file level (NAS) or Object Level will continue to expand and grow as it’s my belief spindles will be around for a good while handling large data sets.  However, even this will start to give way to Cloud Storage Models in the data protection area first, then moving to full Data Sets stored and protected in the Cloud with offerings from Amazon, Google, Nirvanix, Microsoft, and Rackspace.  These companies are focused on getting all your “data” stored within their tech. Recent Gartner surveys show 20% of organizations are using some sort of Cloud Storage Product today.

What happens to the Storage Administrator with these changes?  Well, like all silos in the Data Center, they will need to start thinking horizontally, and obtaining additional skillsets around automation and policies, network, and resource based mgmt. Today’s Data Center Engineer wears many hats, and with the introduction of Virutalization, the lines blurred which caused the need to learn new skills.  With SDDC and Cloud, many skills will be needed to be brought to the table to architect, implement, and maintain this new Infrastructures while users adapt to how they consume these resources.  There is one constant in the IT industry and that’s change.  It is inevitable.  Industry changes seem to occur every decade with complete shifts of how we do things and how we consume and as technological breakthroughs continue to happen at faster rates, the rate of adaptation needs to happen at a similar rate to stay competitive.




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