By Philippe Nicolas
A few days following the 2019 vendors’ facts and review publication, we publish our classic annual vendors’ predictions for 2020.
We collect 48 opinions and consolidate them to find some majors trends and directions for the storage industry:
- Without any surprise, cloud arrives #1 in various flavors (multi, hybrid, on-premises, private and we choose to add the edge in that category)
- New devices and connectivity around Flash, NVMe(-oF), SCM/PM, QLC
- Kubernetes of course and containers
- Analytics and AI
- Object storage
DriveScale (Tom Lyon, Chief Scientist, Brian Pawlowski, CTO and Denise Shiffman, CPO)
1. The new private cloud will be created with elastic bare-metal infrastructure
While VM-deployed applications will continue to move to the public cloud, more bare-metal private cloud data centers will be created in 2020 to run performance- sensitive bare-metal and Kubernetes-native applications. This is being driven by the growth and investment in data-intensive apps and the need for scale-out data center architectures.
2. 2020 will be the year of the Smart NIC
Smart NICs have been used for a few years by cloud providers to offload network switching and encapsulation, but in 2020 we’ll see SmartNICs for storage applications and in private data centers. Amazon’s Nitro SmartNIC was the first with NVMe storage capabilities, but now both Mellanox and Broadcom have announced similar capabilities in their chips, while high-flying start-ups Pensando and Fungible are building systems revolving around SmartNIC capabilities. Why SmartNICs now? Aren’t these just “front-end processors”? The most compelling feature of SmartNICs is that they provide a separate security domain that cleanly separates user code from provider code. In these days of CPU vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown, it may not be safe to assume the correctness of any security boundaries within a CPU.
3. 2020 will be the year of Kubernetes
And people realize they have a lot more work to do to deploy Kubernetes for their data intensive applications. The realities of adopting containerization for persistent storage will continue to drive Kubernetes evolution. While the introduction of the CSI API for Kubernetes makes it easier for storage providers to integrate into K8s, requirements for cost efficient scale out application deployment on top of inexpensive commodity hardware remains a challenge in how best to deploy these applications over K8s.
Read what the rest of the world has to predict here.