Continuity issues

New survey suggests that business continuity, storage availability and avoiding vendor lock-in are top concerns for IT professionals

DataCore Software's "The State of Software-Defined, Hyperconverged and Cloud Storage" survey explored the experiences of 400 IT professionals who are currently using or evaluating software-defined storage, hyperconverged and cloud storage to solve critical data storage challenges.

The report reveals what respondents view as the primary business drivers for implementing software-defined, hyperconverged, public cloud and hybrid cloud storage. For example, the top results for SDS include: automate frequent or complex storage operations; simplify management of different types of storage; and extend the life of existing storage assets.

The report also highlights the capabilities that users would like from their storage infrastructure. The top responses were business continuity/high availability (which can be achieved via metro clustering, synchronous data mirroring, and other architectures) at 74%; DR (from remote site or public cloud) at 73%; and enabling storage capacity expansion without disruption at 72%.

Business continuity was found to be a key storage concern, whether on-premise or in the cloud. It is first on the list for the capability that respondents would like from their storage infrastructure, as it was in DataCore's last survey. Additionally, business continuity is the top business driver for those deploying public and hybrid cloud storage (46% and 41%), and similarly ranks high in the complete results for software-defined and hyperconverged storage business drivers, coming in at 45% and 43% respectively.

There is still 'too much vendor lock-in' within storage, with 42% of respondents noting this as their top concern. SDS is being used to solve this (management of heterogeneous environments) as well as for automation (lowering costs, fewer migrations and less work provisioning). Therefore, it is perhaps no surprise that the results also showed adoption of SDS is about double that of hyperconverged (37% vs. 21%), with 56% of respondents also strongly considering or planning to consider SDS in the next 12 months.

The survey further explored hyperconverged deployments. Some respondents said they are ruling out hyperconverged because it does not integrate with existing systems (creates silos), can't scale compute and storage independently and is too expensive. Hybrid-converged technology is a good option for IT to consider in these cases.

Additionally, while all-flash arrays are often viewed as the simplest way to add performance, more than 17% of survey respondents found that adding flash failed to deliver on the performance promise - most likely as flash does not solve the I/O bottlenecks pervasive in most enterprises. Technologies such as Parallel I/O can provide an effective solution for this.

NVMe meanwhile is still struggling to become mainstream. About half of respondents have not adopted NVMe at all. Thirty percent of survey respondents report that 10% or more of their storage is NVMe, but more than 7% report that more than half of their storage is NVMe.

"We see enterprise IT maturing in its use of software-defined technologies as the foundation for the modern data centre," said Gerardo A. Dada, chief marketing officer at DataCore. "DataCore is delighted to be a catalyst that helps IT meet business expectations of availability and performance while reducing costs, as well as enabling users to enjoy architectural flexibility and vendor freedom."
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