I believe this is also tied to the growing use of Flash/SSD technologies and many vendors are offering what I consider a simple 2 level version of auto-tiering that works between flash and disk drives but it is almost always restricted in its use to storage that they control in their proprietary arrays.
At DataCore we see auto-tiering as a key architectural element of software-defined storage and therefore it is not limited to running within a single box of disks or on a vendor specific storage array system. Unlike the current offerings out there (e.g. HP 3PAR, Dell Compellent, etc.) DataCore takes auto-tiering to the infrastructure-wide level, our smart software spans up to 15 tiers of storage from Flash, to spinning disk drives to Cloud storage and we work across a wide mix of different incompatible platforms -basically any model or vendor storage device.
Yes we can auto-tier but we do it across all the storage assets, for example it can run over a Fusion-io card on the app sever as well as over HP 3PAR, Dell Compellent, SATA capacity disk systems and even to Cloud storage...thousands of customers are using it so it is proven technology.
Check out the DataCore Auto-tiering page for more information.
Anyway, here is a quote and a summary of the latest report that got me motivated to do this blog post:
"There are two major forces working on storage today - solid-state transforming storage architectures in datacenters, and software-defined storage transforming provisioning and capacity choices," said Marco Coulter, VP, TheInfoPro. "As enterprises move from solution designers to service brokers, the conversations with business partners are evolving from bits and bytes to services and APIs."
TheInfoPro released their latest Storage Study, revealing that enterprise storage capacity is more than doubling every two years, exceeding the rate of Moore's Law.
Consequently, automated tiering is the hottest storage technology in 2013, as it helps keep budgets under control by enabling the use of lower-cost capacity. As enterprises struggle to define an external cloud strategy, the on-premises cloud model is gaining favor.
Conducted during the first half of 2013, the study identifies the storage priorities of leading organizations to provide business intelligence about technological roadmaps, budgets and vendor performance. This semiannual study is based on live interviews with IT professionals and primary decision-makers at large and midsize enterprises in North America and Europe.
Highlights from the Storage Study include:
- Enterprise Storage Capacity More Than Doubled Past Two Years
- Solid-state or flash is mainly a hybrid array choice for enterprises, with 37% in use, compared with only 6% for all-flash arrays.
- Decoupling of the storage hardware from the software controller presents a real market opportunity for software vendors looking to capitalize on enterprise interest in software defined storage. 31% of respondents viewed the coupling of storage controller hardware and software as very important or extremely important.
- Architecting for performance is often reactive, as 48% of large and midsize enterprises have no specific IO/s targets for applications.
- Internal cloud storage is the second most likely technology to be added to 2013 storage budgets as enterprises remain cautious about external cloud storage, which they accept as useful for email but not for general capacity. The increased demand for internal cloud storage solutions helps storage vendors as they seek to compete with Amazon S3.
- Object storage (at the heart of many service-provider cloud storage offerings) faces an education barrier in enterprises, since most still see it as a compliance solution.
- Enterprises are staying with FC for their core storage networks, with FCoE seen as an 'edge' solution and IB as a niche for select HPC deployments (12% in use)