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What Next For HPE Storage?

So I’m sitting here in my hotel room before day 2 of HPE Discover* thinking about some of the discussions that have happened on the previous days/evenings. It seems that even vendors are now coming round to the idea that Enterprise Storage is pretty much dead or at least in it’s current form.

What do we mean by dead?

Well, we don’t mean that it is going away anytime soon; like the mainframe, it’ll continue to haunt the data-centres of the future. But unlike the coming zombie apocalypse; this zombie will not take over the world.

However, there is little to no growth opportunity for the traditional Enterprise Storage Array; year on year, we probably won’t see a decline in the amount of storage shipped in this form but it’s proportion of the total shipped storage will decline massively.

In fact, the vendors themselves have only to blame themselves; modern Enterprise arrays are that much more efficient; thin provisioning, compression and data reduction technologies such as deduplication are having the impact that to maintain revenues, the vendors are having to ship twice as much storage.

It’s a great time to be a customer of Enterprise Storage; the price will continue to fall and it’s becoming so simple that swapping one vendor for another is no longer a massive deal. Our continued push for simplified interfaces and click-driven provisioning is beginning to drive procurement behaviours that mean that it is no longer a massive RFx process to change vendors; pence per gigabyte or IOP is the only measure of importance.

And it’s a scary time for many vendors who don’t have a story to tell about what comes next and how they mitigate for this change in market. Enterprise Storage has been a cash-cow; massive margins and annual increases in revenues are pretty much in decline.

So HPE; what comes next in your world because wandering round Discover; I can see an awful lot of servers filled with disks but I don’t see the next storage solution from you guys. Maybe I’ll see it today? 

(disclosure: HP have paid for my accommodation and entrance to the event but I’m under no obligation to write anything)

One Comment

  1. Calvin Zito says:

    Hey Bod – was a pleasure to finally host you at one of our events. I hope you found it useful and worth your time.

    I wish I would have seen your blog post before we left Discover. There were a couple of places where you could have seen a bit more about what comes next for storage at HPE. There was also an NDA room but if you went there, you can’t write about what you saw! Here’s a short run-down on what’s next:
    – The short-term next is Composable Infrastructure. Our goal is to simplify things, to make the storage infrastructure invisible. Another way to describe is infrastructure as code. I have a post I did last week that is an introduction to Composable Infrastructure and storage: There was also a session that went a bit deeper and if you have 25 minutes is worth watching.

    – The other next thing is a bit further out. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about The Machine – a huge research project inside Hewlett Packard Labs. If you aren’t familiar with it, I have a video that is a brief introduction to the Machine. The other more relevant video I have is a discussion I had with one of our System Researchers talking about Photonics and Universal Memory.

    If you want to dive deeper on any of this, feel free to reach out to me.

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