Subbiah Sundaram, VP Products, and Goran Garevski, VP Engineering, Comtrade Software both gaze into their Crystal BallsIt’s that time of year again. Where we all reflect on how this year went to plan and what the future may hold. As opposed to creating our own scorecard on ourselves or worse random technologies, we wanted to take a look at a few technology developments in 2018 that we’re really excited about. These are emerging from direct customer and partner conversations and we certainly see the value in these. And, most importantly why some of these may be more than just emerging but could dominate industry conversations next year and into years to come.
Scale-out File and Object Storage Use Cases as Part of the Evolution of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
For many companies, the initial set of use cases for HCI has been solely focused on production applications, i.e. Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc. Now that HCI technology has matured and customers see the benefit of it, they ask, “why can’t we use the same infrastructure to eliminate separate silos for file and object?” It’s a great question and this would allow them to gain much better efficiency from an infrastructure purchase perspective and more than that save a significant amount of investment in operational management costs. We are already beginning to see customers actively incorporating file and object storage as part of their HCI investments and expect it to continue well into 2018 and beyond.
Broader Adoption of Cloud Automation
Automation technologies have been around forever. But, what enterprise customers have come to realize is that to gain the public cloud like efficiencies that their organization desires, there is no way but to adopt serious automation. We see Infrastructure platform vendors make cloud style automation part of the base platforms. And, to be clear, not just as an add-on. Also, these vendors have seriously thought about how to make it easy to adopt automation and that we believe will drive significant adoption in 2018.
Applications of Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics for IT management
Machine learning and predictive analytics have been in existence in the academic community and in the CTO labs for a while. Now, with the ability to consolidate large datasets, widespread availability of on demand compute and better algorithms, machine learning and predictive analytics is becoming embedded into mainstream applications where customers don’t have to be data scientist, know statistics and understand regression analysis. The results of the technology evolution, better visualization and user centric designs are making it easy for customers to start taking advantage of the evolution in their day to day activities like capacity planning, workload planning, right sizing, risk avoidance, rapid problem identification and auto placement for optimal infrastructure.
The Emergence and Importance of the Private Cloud Admin/Enterprise Cloud Admin
As our large enterprise customers are starting to embrace Cloud or being forced to embrace cloud, they have created specialized Ninja teams that are banging on the cloud. Initially these teams were created with an assortment of server admins, network admins, backup admins and storage admins. All of those customers realize that they will need to reshape and retrain the remaining organization to create generalist who look at the overall objectives and not at the individual knobs. Some people think this evolution is very similar to what happened when organizations pushed into virtual infrastructure. But, when you are what happened in the virtual infrastructure world, the initial role rationalization was predominantly between the “server hardware admins” and “systems admins.” The rest of the teams like network, storage and backup had to adapt but, no role rationalization was done. In the Private Cloud/Public Cloud transition, the impacts are bigger and organizations are planning serious role revisits in 2018 and we do expect to see lot more Private/Enterprise Cloud Admins.
Do More With Less
While not an “official” technology idea, the premise behind doing more with less has been around for a long time. However, while it has less to do with a specific technology, it is picking up momentum even more moving into 2018. The reason for that is really simple. As more CFOs ask their CIOs for ways to reduce their infrastructure spending, CIOS have realized that cutting people cost via automation and outsourcing alone is not enough. Ultimately, they need to seriously rethink how to not just consolidate within a silo, but how to eliminate silos altogether. Since the infrastructure spend totals almost one third of the overall spend for some companies, customers will go deeper into rethinking cross-silo consolidation and look to eliminate any overlap. Sure we haven’t mentioned AI, containers or Docker and Kubernetes, or even IoT. But tell us what you think? What excites you about technology in 2018?