With 2014 now upon us, CBR has spoken to some of the most exciting names in storage to see what key trends your business needs to watch out for over the next 12 months.
Go ahead and check some of them out:
Kieran Harty, CTO and co-founder at VM-aware storage firm Tintri
Flash will make serious inroads
"There is very little doubt flash will be a major factor in the storage market in 2014, with most customers exploiting the benefits of flash performance in an economic way via hybrid storage systems.
"The focus will extend beyond flash hardware to intelligent software on top of flash to drive seamless integration with the virtualisation and application layers, allowing administrators to focus on managing VMs and application data, rather than just storage."
More private clouds
"While a lot of attention has been devoted to public cloud offerings from Amazon, Google and Microsoft, private clouds have been growing at a fast rate.
"For many companies, a private cloud is the next phase of their adoption of virtualisation, providing an environment that delivers additional flexibility, self-service and reporting. Unlike public cloud environments like Amazon Web Services, applications don't need to be rewritten to handle failures."
Application-centric storage and SDN will gain traction
"The big drivers for IT will be improving storage efficiency, simplifying storage management for virtualised environments and improving the automation of data management.
"Application-centric storage will help to reduce capital expenditure and management costs significantly. In the networking world, software defined networking (SDN) - conceptually similar to application-centric storage - will work in parallel to increase efficiency and reduce complexity."
Mike Tuchen, CEO at data management solutions company Talend
Your cloud will become a more important source of big data
"Many organisations are using the cloud for deploying big data platforms. However, the primary contribution of cloud computing to big data will soon reside in the cloud being a source (or rather, many sources) of big data, whether it be public and social data, open data or syndicated data.
"In 2014, big data projects will gather steam from these new sources of data in the cloud. To be prepared, enterprises should build a big data infrastructure that is comprehensive in the data sources it taps, expanding well beyond "conventional" data sources (databases, ERP/CRM, etc) to whichever other sources are relevant."
And it will turn your business into a data business
"As the saying goes, every company is an IT company, and for the vast majority of companies, IT is critical to running the business.
"In 2014, taking a step beyond IT, many companies will use data to profoundly transform their business and will either outright monetise their data assets, or exploit them to create new business models or take advantage of untapped segments."
Tarkan Maner, CEO of software-defined storage startup, Nexenta
Software-defined storage will shake-up market giants
"2014 is the year that software-defined storage will shake up the market. Software-defined storage will separate the software function from hardware and give service providers a less expensive alternative to take to customers.
"By working with any protocol stack, resellers can build specialised storage systems on commodity hardware, rather than the expensive specialised appliances sold by EMC and NetApp.
"A key enabler of the software-defined data centre is virtualisation. This is being leveraged by the open source community to build less expensive cloud and storage stacks which we see as a major driver to save in deployment costs (CapEx) as well as driving down OpEx and TCO.
"Software-defined storage is going to be the next big thing in IT for the next 20 years. Data centres have massive overheads in storage. Virtual desktops, the Internet of things, video and big data are all driving massive storage growth, but the storage industry has been in hock to the big vendors for too long. 2014 will see the end of vendor lock in."
Gavin McLaughlin, solutions development director at intelligent storage firm, X-IO
Customers will demand fairness from storage agreements
"2014 will be the year that businesses stand up to the storage industry and demand fairness from storage vendors. Businesses need to stop being made to replace their storage every three years. There are solutions out there that are built to last. The right storage vendor can provide zero touch storage that last for five years and can be filled to 100%. The days of holding customers to fourth and fifth-year service agreements are finally going away and some of the old school vendors who rely on this to fuel three year lifecycles are being found out."