As we look to the new year we are already beginning to see indicators of what technology will make the most impact in 2014. Based on recent conversations with customers and my peers, here is what I predict:
Flash- Increased players in flash will drive down the cost of flash for customers offering faster data access, less heat and less power consumption. However, I predict it will still take another 18 - 36 months for most enterprise applications to adapt to the nuances of how flash reads and writes data. Flash adoption is also being driven by a subtle increase in the cost of compute. As compute costs plateau or increase, customers will no longer be able to afford to nonchalantly throw compute at problems. Flash will play an increased role by helping to decrease the amount of data that is moved around networks, keeping it close to compute where it is needed and by decreasing latency to improve data access and even analytics. In the next 18 months I expect to see some really interesting technologies announced by the top flash players in order to capitalize on the performance benefits of flash. However, I also expect we will begin to see consolidation of the flash market as flash storage gets more competitive and the smaller players look for one of the few remaining exits.
Cloud- Customers will continue to move towards the cloud to realize the cost savings and data efficiencies of converged architectures. However, as more and more customers move to the cloud data portability and management will become an increasing priority. Heavy cloud adopters will want increased data portability in order to take advantage of different features of the top hyperscaler cloud providers and new cloud adopters will look for data portability to decrease risk and minimize lock in.
Analytics- Analytics will continue to be a hot topic as customers attempt to extract value from their data. Within the large field of analytics a hot topic area for 2014 will be cyber analytics. Over the course of 2013 the industry has realized that monitoring and defending their networks requires analysis of large volumes of data. I am already beginning to see job postings for Cyber Analyst positions and I expect to see a cross pollination of cyber analytics with other heavy analytics fields such as retail, healthcare and science.
OpenStack and Open Source- Organizations will continue to utilize virtualization in order to get greater efficiency out of their compute infrastructure, however as the tremors of the government shutdown continue to dissipate customers are being cautious with their budgets and therefore will look more towards open source. As customers look to expand or renew existing hypervisor infrastructures I expect organizations to look towards OpenStack to realize cost savings and to preserve data portability as they look towards other key initiatives like cloud, analytics or cyber.
Thanks for a great year in 2013 and I wish you all success in 2014!
Lee Vorthman, CTO, Federal Civilian Agencies