By Mark Davis, CEO, Virsto Software

Virsto™ Software, VM-centric storage hypervisor software providers, today released CEO Mark Davis’s data centre industry predictions for the coming year. These predictions are based on the company’s interactions with customers, partners, analysts and industry thought-leaders.

Virsto’s Top Five 2012 predictions:

Datacentre convergence reinvents datacentre roles
Convergence in the datacentre is inevitable as it addresses two of the biggest concerns that senior IT executives and business leaders have today: 1) the cost of computing, and 2) the cost of IT specialists needed to run and manage servers, networks and storage. As companies bring their assets together under a common virtualised framework, traditional roles and responsibilities will morph as departmental silos merge. With the accelerating trend of more intelligence and management being handled within the hypervisor, the roles of the virtualisation administrator and storage administrator will themselves converge, with more of the provisioning, data protection, and performance optimisation being done by the virtualisation admin.

Companies (finally) learn how to use SSD
SSDs (solid state drives) have much to offer the enterprise–they are fast, provide tremendous transactional throughput and extremely low latency and are capable of solving some of the most critical, enterprise-level performance concerns. In 2012, the plummeting cost of SSDs, along with the continued adoption of server and storage virtualisation, will undoubtedly contribute to a transformation of storage in the enterprise. IT organisations will gain a better understanding of when, where and how best to deploy SSDs as these increasingly become an important part of the storage architecture. A new generation of start-ups and existing storage players will continue to develop solutions based on this technology. In 2012–with costs still relatively high–using SSD efficiently is the name of the game.

New storage architectures designed for cloud-scale computing and commodity economics will emerge
Virtualisation is a key enabler for cloud computing environments; however no company has yet resolved its associated storage issues. Current storage architectures will not scale to provide the elasticity and performance at an acceptable price for private and public clouds to really take off. While cloud computing promises to optimise resources and deliver on-demand utilisation, flexibility and scalability, the underlying cost and rigid architecture of SAN-based storage is a major impediment to widespread cloud computing adoption. There is a clear market opportunity and several promising start ups that are bringing a new approach to storage designed to enable cloud-scale deployments, while delivering dramatically reduced economics of storage in virtualised environments.

The hypervisor will extend to effectively manage enterprise storage hardware
2012 will see a shift of intelligence from the array to the hypervisor. The leading hypervisor vendors continue to deliver innovation and features on product roadmaps that help solve persistent challenges of virtualised workloads and storage performance and utilisation. Storage specialist entrants to the market will extend these platforms to transform hypervisors into “storage hypervisors” with enhanced utilisation, performance and management benefits. Over the next year, IT organisations will look to simultaneously optimise the use of hardware and software with an emphasis on the needs of VMs. 2012 will mark a significant milestone as traditionally proprietary software embedded in storage arrays migrates to reside within the hypervisor layer. This will accelerate the pressure on hardware companies to differentiate and strengthen their offerings in a rapidly commoditising market.

Multi-hypervisor becomes the industry standard
Over the next year the common industry practice of standardising on one hypervisor platform in an IT organisation will give way to widespread adoption of a multi-hypervisor strategy. As a result of pricing pressures, platform maturity, and a desire to avoid vendor lock-in, IT organisations will aggressively pursue a multi-hypervisor strategy. The additional complexity this presents will drive adoption of solutions that help IT orchestrate and manage efficiently, and derive value regardless of the hypervisor they are running.

2012 will be the year of widespread heterogeneous hypervisor adoption in the datacentre, with all the incumbent training, process and technological implications that this shift represents. Non-disruptive, game changing technology that facilitates this transition, like Virsto’s storage hypervisor, will continue to experience high demand as a result.

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