Welcome to 2017!
The turning of the calendar to a new year usually brings reflection and prediction season. At the start of 2016, I spoke with a few IT industry heavyweights to predict what 2016 might have in store, and there were two main themes that emerged in that prediction conversation. Let’s reflect on those two themes.
Scale-out, hybrid, and all-flash will hit their strides
As customers consider their next steps with storage in the data center, our panel felt that reduction in floor space and complexity would be top of mind for businesses in 2016. Naturally, this has always been a goal with SimpliVity’s customers, and we continued to see it in a big way in 2016. These customers included a Global 50 firm that drastically reduced their global data center footprint while also making their data more mobile between continents.
Along with reducing complexity, flash was predicted to make a big splash with both hybrid and all-flash arrays eating away at traditional all-disk arrays. In 2016, we definitely saw an inflection point with all-flash. With the price of SSD drives coming down, and the demands of enterprises increasing, SimpliVity released its first all-flash offering.
More specifically, the group thought scale-out storage, and especially hyperconvergence, were going to make a big splash in 2016. They were definitely right on this. Gartner published numbers showing hyperconverged far out growing traditional SAN storage, with SimpliVity leading amongst hyperconverged infrastructure vendors. Dell’s acquisition of EMC showed the need for legacy storage vendors to combine strengths, and their need to support all hyperconvergence options in the combined portfolio. Nutanix had a successful IPO, which demonstrated the staying power of hyperconvergence in the market. And finally, SimpliVity has had a very successful year in largely growing our customer base and revenues.
IT needs simplification and the elimination of infrastructure overhead
The movement in the industry towards cloud cannot be denied, but the panel saw hybrid cloud as the logical winner in 2016 due to the variety of workloads in customers of all sizes. VMware and Amazon Web Services seem to agree, having announced a partnership to help customers consume a multi-faceted cloud strategy. Even cloud giants like Dropbox and Groupon are making moves away from pure public cloud to a hybrid cloud architecture.
In a hybrid cloud world, it was predicted that managed service providers would have a huge opportunity if they were to develop their own hybrid cloud strategy. There were many moves by service providers to introduce public and private cloud strategies. SimpliVity has helped many of our partners by introducing the SimpliVity Cloud Partner Program that allows service providers to run SimpliVity-based cloud infrastructures that can be used to provide data protection and hybrid cloud services to our joint customers’ on-premises infrastructures.
With cloud strategy always comes automation, which our panel expected to be a big topic in 2016. Many vendors, including SimpliVity, did not disappoint. Building from a strong support of integrating with cloud management tools like VMware vRealize Automation and Cisco UCS Director, SimpliVity began offering native RESTful APIs in May with the release of OmniStack 3.5.1, with further enhancements made in subsequent releases in July and November 2016.
So what will 2017 have in-store?
I think it is clear hyperconvergence will continue to grow, become more relevant to more core business applications, and SimpliVity will have its biggest year to date.
To look forward into 2017, we decided to ask some of our customers to get their thoughts on what they expected to tackle in this New Year.
The most popular topic was security. With ransomware being a top IT news story in 2016, along with a high-profile outage caused by an Internet of Things distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, this should come as no surprise. It’s also been a primary concern in any serious cloud conversation, which was also a popular topic our customers are considering in 2017. As was discussed in our 2016 predictions, hybrid cloud appears to be the end game for our customers in 2017 as well, with Office 365 being a top cloud use case.
Staff growth and productivity were also top of mind for our customers. Some customers are looking to increase their IT staff next year due to company growth. Others are looking at application upgrades or improvements to better equip their existing IT and business staff to be more effective. Still, others are looking to build on improved productivity introduced in 2016. Altogether, there was a strong focus on making IT a leader and trusted advisor by using IT agility to create business differentiation.
Another no-brainer given recent news of disaster recovery plans gone awry with Delta and JetBlue, is a focus on disaster recovery and data protection. This has been a common theme amongst SimpliVity customers since day one, and something we predict will continue to be a key focus area for many businesses in 2017. In fact, a study by ESG found significant disconnects between businesses expected recovery time objectives and what they could actually achieve. For example, 35% of respondents planned for recoveries taking less than 15 minutes, but only 6% actually achieved that objective. So whether our customers initially acquire SimpliVity for easier disaster recovery or implement it later, it’s one of the easiest and most common use cases customers leverage when running their core business applications on SimpliVity. And it’s even easier since the introduction of RapidDR late in 2016.
After a successful 2016, which was well predicted by industry experts, SimpliVity’s own customers are expecting continued success in 2017. We at SimpliVity expect this new year to hold much success for us and hope it does for you as well.