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March 2017 – San Jose, California: Yogesh Anyapanawar, who heads the virtualization function at Calsoft, recently spoke about the current state of virtualization and where it is headed. He went on to cover how storage vendors can brace themselves for the future while also playing an active part in shaping it. Here’s what he had to say: “Just when you think you’re now ready for the future, something new comes along!” A cliché well understood and ubiquitously realized in the world of data-centers. It is now a well-accepted fact that server virtualization is nearing its peak, if it hasn’t already peaked. VMware’s reducing license bookings attest to that. So, what’s next? Containers are always the first to come to mind. But before we get into the future, let’s consolidate the present, shall we?

Having a datacenter that is 70% virtualized does not mean that the job is done. But it does give the datacenter a maturity, a platform. What started as a hardware consolidation movement has resulted in a fundamental platform that could, and most likely would, enable or empower any enterprise’s strategy. This enablement could be through public, private or some form of hybrid cloud, something as simple as a self-service, or DIY strategies but with huge revenue impacts or even new ways of enterprise structuring based on data-driven analytics. All of this has been possible only due to the virtualization platform. Cloud automation and orchestration is another very important area, which the way I see it, is powered by virtualization. The “software-defined”-ness of datacenter components provides features and builds into that same story.

For virtualized shops, the next step will be to utilize this platform to consolidate and improve its services. Whether it takes the shape of a private, public or hybrid cloud; or goes heavy on automation or orchestration or both depends upon the enterprise. But not doing that will be missing an opportunity, to say the least.

For virtualization and datacenter ISVs, the innovation has to continue, and rightly so, focusing heavily on networking. Network virtualization will be the bridge that will enable the movement and result in simplified management of virtualized resources. Security is another aspect that has been neglected in the past and needs to come to the forefront.

For storage vendors, the ecosystem is forever growing. Gone are the days when storage vendors had to worry only about performance and space efficiencies. Now they need to be, foremost, software-defined, and be cloud ready i.e. have an automation layer that enables auto-scaling and auto-provisioning at the least. Management is easy, whether it is integrated into the entire ecosystem or is cloud-first, if not both.

Integrating into the VMware eco-system has been seen as a way of announcing yourself in the market. Integration on VAAI/VASA/vVOLs, VMware storage certification, vSphere Site Recovery Manager/Adaptor (SRM/SRA) for DR, vSphere vCenter plugins for management, vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation integrations for automation, and vRealize Operations for monitoring and capacity planning are all very important. But now, that’s not enough. Microsoft’s Hyper-V ecosystem is coming up, SCVMM, SCOM, SMI-S are all gaining importance, raising enterprise demands on storage vendors higher than ever. Building a story (Migration, Backup & Recovery, DR, etc.) with cloud providers (Amazon/Google/Azure) is important. Auto-Provisioning isn’t far behind either, Chef, Puppet and Ansible integrations, although small, go a long way in winning customers.

Enterprises are undoubtedly adopting the SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) model and storage is the first aspect they will look at. Storage vendors will have to continue to gear up for these changes and not only be ready but also drive these changes.

About Calsoft:
Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals.
www.calsoftinc.com

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