I am a strong believer in the innovator’s dilemma.
Disruptions start small with a very focused use case, find interesting avenues to expand, and soon change the rules of the whole space.
We are currently witnessing a very interesting moment in history of enterprise IT. Right now, the whole trillion dollar enterprise stack is getting rewritten. Let’s look at how mobility and cloud disruption are influencing this trend, and what parallels can we draw from some history lessons from the data center.
- Infrastructure Management
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) used to be a relevant category encompassing tools for discovering, monitoring, and improving the data center’s computing infrastructure, including its physical assets. It started off as capacity planning and resource management but soon extended to automation, policy enforcement, and energy efficiency management.
As cloud consolidates the data centers and enterprises gear up to manage the new mobile inventory, DCIM trends are visibly seen in both cloud infrastructure management and MDM. What started off as simple push and pull of settings will surely transform into a strong automation, policy orchestration, and application management play.
- Virtualization and Cloud
In 1999, little VMware released its first virtualization product. What initially started off mostly as a means for developers to save cost by virtualizing test machine soon became a mainstream trend. Initially IT was concerned about performance, but as the technology matured and resource management/consolidation emerged as a new driver, the whole data center got virtualized.
Similar trends are visible in the cloud: initial adoption as test machines, the fear of security, and now mainstream enterprise adoption. The early adoption of cloud was triggered by mobility, and non-IT specific applications. But today we can see cloud becoming the driver behind everything from genome computations to disaster recovery. The solution offered as a well-defined service became a compelling reason for both the provider and the consumer.
- Storage Management and Data Protection
Data protection (DP) has arguably been around since UNIVAC’s punch card copies. The data center was ruled by block storage and managed by Tivoli, EMC, and Veritas. In 2006, AWS fundamentally changed the game by commercially introducing object storage. The block to object change was a paradigm shift in how storage is managed. The RAID, replication, and snapshots gave way to simple object SLAs.
There are similar trends with data protection as well. Today AWS contributes to over 60% of worldwide storage sales and over 30% of enterprise data is on endpoints. With data and application moving out of data center, we are already witnessing a shift in the focus of data protection to endpoints. It’s not tough to imagine that the next major trend would be disk to cloud, and eventually cloud to cloud backup. The focus of in (and for) the cloud backup would be more on point-in-time copy (redundancy) than availability/durability.
- Data Governance
The need for better governance of enterprise data led to backup and archival being combined. This convergence was enabled by disk being used to replace tapes, and dedupe as an effective means to compress information. Making use of the secondary copy for test/dev and eDiscovery gave backup a new meaning.
The trends continues to reform itself, with cloud triggering a new wave of better information management. With warm and cold storage and dropping cloud storage costs, the cloud will very soon be a viable alternative to store data for a very long term. And the object stores provide a perfect architecture for effective data governance.
Druva’s Take on the Mobility and Cloud Disruption Trends
Cloud and mobility will definitely redefine the rules of the game. New players will emerge, and the big guys will play a catch up.
I strongly believe that this is simply the beginning, and I’ll be expanding more on this in later blog posts. Corporate data on user devices is new to the enterprise, and given the timing, the cloud is the best choice for storing this data. The future of secondary data (backup and archival) is in the cloud. And the data protection/governance has to greatly change to adapt to both disk-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud use case.