HyperScale Data Centers Featured Article


Poll Projects 'Wait and See' Attitude on Storage Preference


March 15, 2016

Visitors to the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community know that monthly we run a community poll to hear what YOU, the readers, see. From industry veterans to greenhorn, we want your input to put the pieces together and begin to make sense of this rapidly evolving space: the data center.  Recently, we asked what your preferred storage solution is; now it is time to explore the results.

Storage is a sticky situation, the most common options include Fibre Channel, iSCSI and NFS but according to the community the industry is waiting to see what’s next. Nearly 50 percent of respondents selected, “We’re waiting to see what develops over the next year.” Like other areas of industry, innovation is charting the course. However, there is a balancing act in play here, as enterprises want efficient, scalable and flexible solutions, but they also demand storage to be available, serviceable, supportable and reliable.

According to 451 Research, almost 80 percent of enterprises plan to increase converged infrastructure spending in 2016. In addition, over 30 percent noted plans for a “major server and storage refresh in 2016.” 

Fibre Channel (good ol’ faithful) is big boy on the block, currently, but I don’t think it will stay that way. While over 20 percent of poll respondents chose to “stick with Fibre Channel,” multiple reports note a slow and painful decline for this industry segment. Today, it is the most widely used mode of storage, but as opposed to swiftly taking a backseat, innovation will serve as the pace car for this shift.

When comparing Fibre to iSCSI, the results are clear. Fibre is more reliable and offers greater performance but these advantages come at a cost. For this reason, I was surprised to see 26 percent of respondents selecting iSCSI as their preferred mode of storage. However, it does alleviate the need for much of the complexities in running a Fibre deployment—it seems to always come back to the bottom line.

Receiving the smallest amount of support, NFS garnered 5 percent of respondent responses. The standard, initially developed and released in the 80s by Sun, has come a long way over the past 30 or so years but the future is here.

Some will argue there’s nothing wrong with fibre, as though there is no need to reinvent the wheel. However, even though fibre is enjoying its seat at the end of the table, the future is coming. And it would appear, based on our results that much of the industry is excited to see the innovation the coming months bring. Inquiring minds want to know what’s next, what solution will package all the demands of the enterprise and where the chips fall.

Stay tuned, the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community is here to keep you on the fore of this burgeoning area.

Let your voice be heard! Don’t forget to respond to our new community poll!




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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