IDC - Storage Trends : Delivering Management and Intelligence Through Cloud Services


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IDC - Storage Trends : Delivering Management and Intelligence Through Cloud Services

  1. 1. IDC 1491I D C V E N D O R S P O T L I G H TStorage Trends: Delivering Management andIntelligence Through Cloud ServicesApril 2013Adapted from IDCs Worldwide Storage and Big Data Taxonomy, 2013 by Ashish Nadkarni and Laura DuBois,IDC #239273 and Shared Nothing Architectures — A Blueprint for Software-Based Scale-Out Solutionsby Ashish Nadkarni, IDC #239526Sponsored by Hitachi Data SystemsIDC expects storage to continue to be a hot market in 2013. Major trends such as Big Data andcloud will continue to spur innovation. With the economy looking a bit better, many businesses mayincrease their spending; in particular, companies will turn increasingly to the public cloud to managethe growth of unstructured data as well as control costs.This Vendor Spotlight explores the trends in cloud-based storage services and discusses the role thatHitachi Data Systems (HDS) plays in this important market.IntroductionFile-based storage (FBS) and object-based storage (OBS) solutions continue to see increaseddemand from all corners of the storage market today. This demand spans multiple industries andsectors with newer use cases and delivery models and is bringing about a convergence betweenthese two sets of technologies.Existing use cases such as information digitization, data retention policies, and globally dispersedinformation sharing (to name a few) — all aimed at controlling the insatiable appetites for dataconsumption — are increasingly moving to file- and object-based storage (FOBS). Pressures createdby four fundamental IT trends — cloud, mobility, social business, and Big Data — are expected tocreate additional (and nearly unprecedented) demand for storage supporting unstructured data.Given the emergence of newer use cases for file- and object-based storage — such as server anddesktop virtualization, machine-generated content repositories, and streaming data — FOBSsolutions that were once meant only for unstructured data are being used for semistructured andstructured data. In addition, newer delivery models such as public or private cloud–based storage areincreasingly relying on object-based storage as the platform, with data accessed via newer interfacessuch as HTTP/REST or via traditional file-based interfaces such as Network File System (NFS) andCommon Internet File System (CIFS).Technologically, file-based and object-based storage solutions are converging. File-based storagesolutions are increasingly becoming object aware with the adoption of metadata-based parallel,clustered, or distributed file systems and newer object-based data interfaces. Object-based solutionson the other hand are becoming increasingly file friendly with the adoption of file-based interfaces.The ongoing expansion of business-critical information, diverse data sets, divisive data sources, andrich content within extended enterprises continues to change the storage dynamic in a wide range ofindustries and organizations. Organizing this expanding universe of file- and object-based informationas efficiently as possible and at the same time extracting value from it are becoming core businessmandates.
  2. 2. ©2013 IDC2A muted revolution is occurring in IT environments everywhere: Expansive data. Businesses are storing more data in their environments. Much of it is data thatthey analyze or plan to analyze in order to gain a competitive edge. The expanding data setsinclude not only structured data but also semistructured data (generated by machines) andunstructured data (generated by humans). Unlike archival data, which is basically cold data,these data sets need to be routinely analyzed and therefore need to have proximity to a computelayer. Newer applications, use cases, and delivery models. Along with server and desktopvirtualization of mission-critical applications, newer applications spanning Big Data, social, andmobile use cases are fast entering mainstream IT. Newer cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-serviceofferings are being adopted across a broad range of industries to supplant their on-premisesinfrastructure. Advancements and standardization in hardware speeds and feeds. Gone are the days ofslower and proprietary hardware and interconnects (which allowed for healthy fan-out ratios inmost shared storage infrastructures). Newer hardware platforms are made of faster CPUs,memory, and disks and can be connected via ultrahigh-speed networks. The Internet hasbecome fast too, allowing businesses to distribute their workforce geographically.These developments are pushing the envelope on shared storage networks when it comes to certaintypes of use cases such as cloud storage, content repositories, geodispersed data access, andanalytics for semistructured and unstructured data types.BenefitsFor many organizations, unstructured data — audio, video, digital images, social media, and so forth— continues to grow unabated. At the same time, IT departments are facing budget and resourceconstraints, limiting the ability of storage administrators to effectively manage data growth.Complex storage environments make it difficult for organizations to identify and access data, whichcould hinder their ability to leverage the data for analytics or to create business intelligence. Movingto the cloud can introduce availability and security risks, particularly for organizations that haveregulatory requirements. In these environments, organizations need to leverage existing storageinfrastructures and services to turn business-critical data into valuable intelligence.Private, public, and hybrid cloud models can enable organizations to choose the right option for alltheir data and content while allowing them to manage, find, and access the data they need when theyneed it to support the business. As content, data, and analytics requirements grow, various cloudservices enable organizations to scale their solutions and to more effectively transform their data intointelligence.Additional benefits of cloud services include the following: With no infrastructure to purchase up front, organizations can get capex and opex spendingunder control. The cloud services ecosystem includes enterprise-tested platforms and technologies that deliverhigh levels of reliability and security. A variety of sophisticated cloud storage services that organizations need to manage theircomplex data storage and management requirements are available, freeing up resources to focusmore on the business.
  3. 3. ©2013 IDC 3Market TrendsMany suppliers are designing solutions that move the computing and data fabrics closer to each otherin a converged infrastructure model. Suppliers with existing solutions are trying to make theirsolutions more versatile and appealing to a diverse set of workloads. They aim to create blueprints toenable their customers to take advantage of these solutions to create private cloud environments,content repositories, and data-as-a-service delivery platforms. In addition, storage vendors shouldhelp their clients make the transition from a support perspective as they augment shared nothingarchitectures in their environments.One of the key differentiators between true object platforms and scale-out file-based solutions withobject interfaces is how they manage data dispersal. The more robust the object platform in terms ofits dispersal capabilities, the better suited it is for cloud and cloud-like deployments in which data maybe ingested and/or analyzed concurrently across multiple locations globally.Like it or not, all storage vendors are becoming cloud vendors (at least for sync-n-share services)and, more importantly, application providers. From a buyer perspective, organizations have to look attheir suppliers for another set of services — in addition to the datacenter-centric services that theyare used to. IT departments dealing with end users will now have to deal with datacenter storagesolutions. The proverbial BlackBerry admin will be calling storage vendors asking for support for ausers tablet app.A key characteristic of the FOBS market that continues to differentiate it from the traditional block-based storage market is that the potential use cases are diverse enough to require specializedsolutions. This is particularly true within the scale-out FOBS market where specialized solutions arerampant. To cater to diverse workloads and applications, often specific to certain industries, suppliersfrequently offer specialized scale-out solutions with varying degrees of file and object awareness.Considering Hitachi Data SystemsHitachi Data Systems approach to the cloud is to allow customers to choose from a variety ofcloud delivery and purchase models, all from a single vendor. All of the solutions are built on anobject-based storage model with sophisticated metadata capabilities delivered through HitachiContent Platform (HCP).HDS facilitates transitions to the cloud by: Enabling customers to implement their own private clouds. These customers choose to buildtheir own cloud using Hitachi Data Systems proven platforms and technologies. Hitachi DataSystems Global Services provides customers with access to a collection of file tiering, fileserving, and archiving solutions already built and ready to use. Delivering hosted private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions. Customers can choose from twooptions:Hitachi Cloud Services is an enterprise-level, public and enterprise-to-cloud offering —owned and managed by HDS — that provides a set of sophisticated cloud storageservices as well as REST API support that enables interoperability with enterpriseapplications and other cloud environments. This offering is available in the United Statestoday and will be available in additional geographies in the near future.Customers choosing a private cloud but wishing not to incur additional capex expensesmay take advantage of Hitachi Data Systems Managed Service Solutions. In this case,HDS remotely hosts a private cloud located on-premises at the customers site.
  4. 4. ©2013 IDC4 Partnering to expand options for customers in different areas, including vertical and ISVapplications, portal technology, and cloud delivery experience and expertise. Two partnerprograms are in place today:Hitachi Cloud Service Connection. This program enables HDS channel partners todeliver a comprehensive set of "infrastructure as a service" and "platform as a service"options from an extensive service catalog. Designed for small and medium-sized end-userorganizations, this program is available in Asia/Pacific countries today and will beavailable in Europe and other geographies in the near future.Hitachi Cloud Service Provider Program. In this program, HDS works with a cloudservice provider to deliver value-added services to customers. The partner maintains thehosting environment and provides self-service capabilities for service provisioning,subscription management, and billing. Organizations can work directly with HDS or withthe cloud service provider to acquire and use services, paying for only what they use.HDS will continue to enhance both the functionality and the "cloud enablement" of its platforms tomake its cloud solutions even more scalable, reliable, and secure. It will also expand its partneractivities to provide more of its cloud options through a wider variety of channels.Doing cloud right requires more than just quality platforms and software. Many customers needconsultative services and support to assess their needs, data management requirements, andexisting IT environment so they can make the right decisions and acquire the skills and processesthey need to follow through. Hitachi Data Systems Global Services offers experienced storageconsultants, proven methodologies, and a comprehensive services portfolio. HDS claims that it hasthe storage expertise needed to understand the latest storage technologies and complex ITarchitectures and knows how to align technology with business requirements. The companys goal isto deliver the best fit with a high-performance solution tailored precisely to customers businessobjectives.HDS offers customers a full range of support and services, including assessments, planning andimplementation, and integration and management. The company is expanding its cloud servicesofferings.ChallengesHDS has helped customers create their own private clouds (either enabling customers to build theirown clouds using HDS technologies or providing customers with an onsite solution owned andmanaged by HDS) for some time. The company is expanding its offerings to include public cloudsolutions, delivered by HDS and through partners. This represents a new direction for the company,and it may take some customers time to think of HDS as a cloud service provider (many customerssee HDS solely as a vendor of storage products). HDS is expected to demonstrate its readiness todeliver quality cloud solutions to customers and its channel partners as a means to overcome thischallenge. One way to achieve this goal is by sharing real customer successes as well as successwith fulfillment over time.From the market perspective, some organizations are hesitant to move their data to the cloud. Manyorganizations will make their first step a private cloud in which they can maintain stronger control overtheir data. HDS public cloud solutions may not attract them immediately. However, as organizationsgain both trust in cloud solutions and experience with their benefits, they may consider leveragingpublic cloud solutions as part of their strategy.
  5. 5. ©2013 IDC 5ConclusionAs data requirements grow, organizations will increasingly look to the cloud for cost-effective ways tostore, manage, and leverage the data they need to run their businesses. The solutions they choosemust incorporate both object-based storage and strong metadata capabilities that supportmultitenancy and the ability to find and access the data that users need regardless of where that dataresides. Ultimately, customers also want to be able to choose the cloud delivery model that best suitstheir access, security, scalability, and compliance needs.HDS offers customers the ability to work with a single vendor, as well as its partners, to implement acloud solution based on the services the customers need and the cloud delivery model that is right forthem. If HDS addresses the challenges highlighted in this paper, IDC believes the company has asignificant opportunity for success.A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I O NThis publication was produced by IDC Go-to-Market Services. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented hereinare drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendorsponsorship is noted. IDC Go-to-Market Services makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution byvarious companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee.C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N SAny IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requiresprior written approval from IDC. For permission requests, contact the GMS information line at 508-988-7610 or and/or localization of this document requires an additional license from IDC.For more information on IDC, visit For more information on IDC GMS, visit Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA P.508.872.8200 F.508.935.4015