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The software-defined storage (SDS) market will quickly expand over the next few years, according to International Data Corporation's (IDC) latest forecast.
In 2021, the worldwide SDS sales will total nearly $16.2 billion after registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent during the intervening years (2017-2021). IDC attributes this growth to the hastening shift from traditional IT infrastructures, which typically favored hardware-centric dual-controller storage array designs, to cloud environments based on commodity equipment.
"For IT organizations undergoing digital transformation, SDS provides a good match for the capabilities needed – flexible IT agility; easier, more intuitive administration driven by the characteristics of autonomous storage management; and lower capital costs due to the use of commodity and off-the-shelf hardware," said IDC research director Eric Burgener in prepared remarks. "As these features appear more on buyers' lists of purchase criteria, enterprise storage revenue will continue to shift toward SDS."
Adding upward momentum to the overall SDS market are three key segments, object, file and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), observed IDC.
The HCI portion of the market is particularly dynamic and expected to generate $7.15 billion in 2021 after posting a five-year CAGR of 26.6 percent and chipping away at the market for traditional SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network-attached storage) solutions. The object and file storage segments are poised to undergo CAGRs of 10.3 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
In the meantime, IT heavyweights are buying their way into the hot HCI segment.
On Sept. 22, networking giant Cisco announced it had completed its acquisition of Springpath, a deal valued at $320 million. The companies had previously collaborated to Springpath to launch the Cisco HyperFlex line of HCI systems. In January, HPE announced it was acquiring SimpliVity for $650 million as part of a push into the expanding market for HCI solutions.
HCI is also helping technology companies forge cloud-friendly alliances.
Scale Computing announced in September that it had partnered with Google on a hybrid cloud solution called HC3 Cloud Unity that enables customers of Scale's hyperconverged platform to seamlessly connect their storage, compute and virtualization workloads to the Google Cloud Platform.
"With HC3 Cloud Unity, Google and Scale have laid a massive two-way speedway across the HC3 clusters on-premises and HC3 on Google Cloud Platform. This network means organizations no longer have to use or create different apps for the cloud; they can utilize their apps created for on-prem [environments and run them] in the Google Cloud," said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder of Scale Computing, in a Sept. 28 announcement.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Storage Forum. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.