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8 Emerging Data Storage Trends To Watch In 2021

Joseph F. Kovar

A focus on the actual business requirements from storage infrastructures, and not on the legacy discussions about speeds and feeds, the names on the bezels, and where the data is actually located, will characterize the storage industry of 2021 and beyond.

Software-Defined To Take The Wind From Storage Hardware Sales

With all the excellent storage arrays available in the market, it’s sometimes hard to remember that nearly all if not all storage is software-defined. All the services related to the storage, management, and protection of data is defined by the software stack which in most cases runs on commodity hardware. Sure, storage hardware vendors may truthfully respond that their hardware is optimized to run their software stacks. Or there may be some proprietary hardware inside the more commodity hardware base that impacts the storage performance. But the storage services themselves are defined in software.

Take away the hardware, and what is left? A software stack that with little or no modification can run on other commodity servers. Or take away the commodity or alternate hardware, and what is left? A software stack that with little or no modification can run on the cloud.

Two things could happen related to this in 2021. First, solution providers and their clients will see more software stacks available from more well-known storage brands for integration on hardware or cloud bases of choice. Second, Investors are going to start to realize that the way they measure a storage vendor’s value is not dependent on revenue, which will shrink as the vendors look more to software-defined storage, but instead on the value those vendors bring to their clients.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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