Right now, the vast majority of enterprises have more data, applications, platforms and systems than they know what to do with. This is putting an incredible strain on internal storage resources, as well as the IT team tasked to continually expand and maintain these integral resources.
What’s more, demands for robust storage are increasing by the day. Now, enterprises need robustly scalable environments that are secure as well as accessible – a tall order by any means.
This is creating intense competition in the enterprise storage market, with everyone from startups to providers with decades of experience vying for a position. Despite this landscape, there is a clear-cut leader: Dell and its recently acquired EMC.
What’s driving enterprise storage needs?
Demands for powerful storage resources are increasing in every sector. This growth is being driven by a few main factors that aren’t poised to cease anytime soon:
- More complex technological assets: Now, businesses utilize increasingly sophisticated and advanced platforms to assist with everyday and mission-critical tasks in every department across the company. What’s more, they are demanding a higher level of performance and availability than ever before, requiring massive storage space for the data that these systems produce.
- Big data is still a top priority: In addition, enterprises are seeking to hold onto and gather more information than ever to support their big data initiatives. Big data and analytics processes aren’t just a priority for many companies – it is these processes that drive the most important corporate decisions being made today.
- Bridging infrastructure gaps: In addition to newer technologies being added at an increasing pace, many organizations are simply looking to dip a toe with complex, emerging IT solutions while still holding on to their legacy systems. This has created complicated infrastructures that require storage support to bridge the gap between the new systems being deployed alongside the traditional technologies that have kept business humming along.
And this only scratches the surface when it comes to enterprise storage needs. Demands are increasing every day for a whole host of reasons, depending on the company’s own function and the industry it operates within.
“Storage growth is massive and unsustainable,” Data Center Knowledge contributor Jason Phippen wrote. “You are going to need to find a better, cheaper way of doing it, and that way is going to need to work in harmony with your compute decisions.”
State of the enterprise storage market
This landscape is creating an increasingly competitive market where solution providers seek to deliver for enterprises ever-changing needs.
Forbes contributor Gina Longoria noted that within this environment, a few things have become clear:
- Traditional storage solutions challenged by the cloud: Currently, there are a number of different options for enterprise storage, including traditional on-premise storage solutions, server-based systems as well as public cloud storage-as-a-service offerings.
- Demands increase for server-based solutions: Enterprises are increasingly seeking out software-defined storage solutions that include the use of commodity hardware to reduce costs and enhance storage capabilities.
- Hyperscale slows down while flash heats up: The market is also seeing a decrease in hyperscale hardware purchases, where IT equipment is bought at an incredibly large scale. At the same time, flash arrays are becoming more popular as a way to improve cost efficiency as well as capacity.
Dell: Market leader
This unique situation has propelled Dell to the head of the pack where enterprise storage solutions are concerned.
“This shifting demand environment provides a window of opportunity for today’s enterprise storage vendors to make big moves,” Longoria wrote. “Dell’s acquisition of EMC now means that the combined entity is by far the dominant player in the storage systems market.”
Currently, Dell owns nearly 30 percent of the overall market, with revenues continuing to increase as demands for and deployment of Dell’s brand of storage solution rise.
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