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The Fifth Annual State of Software-Defined Storage Survey

DataCore has published the results of its Fifth Annual State of Software-Defined Storage (SDS) survey. The 2015 poll explored the impact of SDS on organizations across the globe , and distills the experiences of 477 IT professionals currently using or evaluating SDS to solve critical data storage challenges. The results yield surprising insights from a cross-section of industries over a wide range of workloads.

The survey also probed for levels of spending on much-hyped topics, including big data, object storage and OpenStack. Unexpectedly, the findings showed that very little funding is being earmarked in 2015 for these initiatives. Some of the pause may be explained by a number of disillusionments that were disclosed in the report findings.

On the other hand, this year’s report reveals several major business drivers for implementing software-defined storage. 52 percent of respondents expect SDS will extend the life of existing storage assets and future-proof their storage infrastructure, enabling them to easily absorb new technologies. Close to half of respondents look to SDS to avoid hardware lock-in from storage manufacturers, while lowering hardware costs by allowing them to shop among several competing suppliers. Operationally, they see SDS simplifying management of different classes of storage by automating frequent or complex operations. This is notable in comparison with earlier surveys, as these results portray a sharp increase in the recognition of the economic benefits generated by SDS (reduced CAPEX), complementing the OPEX savings referenced in prior years.

Other surprises include: while flash technology penetration expanded it is still absent in 28 percent of the cases and 16 percent reported that it did not meet application acceleration expectations. Also interesting is that 21 percent reported that highly touted hyper-converged systems did not perform as required or did not integrate well within their infrastructure. On the other hand, software-defined storage and storage virtualization are deemed very urgent now, with 63 percent of organizations making important investments in these technologies throughout 2015. 81 percent also expect similar levels of spending on software-defined storage technologies that will be incorporated within server SANs / virtual SANs and converged storage solutions.

Additional highlights include:

  • The ability to add storage capacity without business disruption is identified as the primary reason for choosing storage virtualization software (52 percent of respondents). Supporting synchronous mirroring and metro clusters for high availability to ensure business continuity and asynchronous data replication for remote site disaster recovery are also high on the list.
  • More than half of the respondents (53 percent) say that they currently have less than 10 percent of capacity assigned to flash storage. The number of participants who answered that flash makes up higher than 40 percent of their storage capacity is only 9 percent.
  • More than 60 percent of respondents experienced performance degradation or the inability to meet performance after virtualizing server workloads. When asked what the typical causes of performance problems are, 61 percent of participants blame slow applications, and 46 percent single out legacy storage devices as the culprit.
  • Human errors are driving the need for greater automation. It has become increasingly clear that the complexity which accompanies data growth and diversity is taking a big toll, as 61 percent of respondents indicated that human error was behind application and data center / centre outages.

The respondents to DataCore’s State of Software-Defined Storage survey come from a diverse set of organizations, both in size and industry, providing statistically significant insights into the similarity in needs for SDS over a wide range of IT environments. Participants were located in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, in a wide range of vertical market segments. 45 percent of respondents were from organizations with less than 500 employees, 31 percent of respondents from organizations with between 500 and 5,000 employees and 23 percent from organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

To read the entire report, go to www.datacore.com/sds2015



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