Data center operators and IT service providers must be prepared for a dramatic change in the way they do business, one of the industry’s top authorities told DatacenterDynamics FOCUS in an exclusive interview.
The twin effects of falling hardware prices and new inventions that lower the demand for storage space will have a series of disruptive effects that could devastate both companies and careers in the data center industry, warns industry veteran Ash Ashutosh.
Ashutosh, who sold his first start up AppIQ to HP in 2005, was CTO at HP Storageworks before starting a new storage vendor Actifio, after inventing a new way to end the wastefulness of old techniques used to hold data.
In May DatacenterDynamics FOCUS reported that Actifio intended to wipe $46bn from the revenues of the world’s IT storage market by introducing new efficiencies.
Ashutosh, whose ability to predict the dynamics of the data center industry saw him head hunted by silicon valley venture capitalist Greylock Partners, now says the industry is about to change dramatically in the coming year.
“The model for how any company handles its information is constantly changing. You can simplify it as a choice between jobs that are safe to put on the public cloud, jobs that can be run on a hybrid cloud, processes that need to be kept on a private cloud and the jobs that you dare not take off the mainframe,” Ashutosh said.
“The problem is, it’s a moveable feast. The dividing lines are shifting all the time as the factors that affect each decision are constantly changing.”
Ashutosh said he has seen 110 CIOs of large enterprises in the last year, all of whom are anxious to work out the direction of the industry.
“They all saw the cloud coming, but didn’t know what it meant for their futures,” Ashutosh said.
The data centre began its transformation with virtualization of hardware, which then created the foundations for cloud’s evolution.
The next stage, the complete commoditization of storage, will create a number of victims in the storage market, he said.
Anyone employed in storage should re-think their careers, he said, as traditional skills will be devalued and some encumbent storage vendors may shrink, or disappear.
Similarly, the budgets allocated to storage may be cut and reallocated, which should provide another area of contention in data centres, which IT buyers should make plans for now, he said.
“The data center industry itself is in the middle of a transformation from version two point zero to three point zero,” Ashutosh said.