Automation, quantum computing and the Internet of Things are among the trends that will influence the server market in 2017
According to Spiceworks’ annual IT budget survey, 64% of organisations plan on making no staffing changes to their IT department in 2017. With this in mind, IT managers are going to have to start automating activities in order to keep up with their workload. Automation will also need to ultimately advance from scripting when required towards heuristic evaluation (automation based on data).
2. Remote working and BYOD
BYOD is already commonplace in many work environments and as a growing number of employees are sharing sensitive documents and data between devices and locations, security risks increase. Secure containers are an increasingly popular method of securing sensitive information instead of relying on employees having devices with adequate native security protection.
Secure container applications are available on most mobile devices running on the typical operating systems (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows). This can help to save an organisation money too, with some employees preferring to be able to access their personal and work information from one device, providing it is kept separate, making the ‘work phone’ a redundant purchase. Although they can’t replace mobile device management strategies, secure containers certainly have their uses.
3. The Internet of Things
Connected devices are set to take off in a big way in 2017, and with this new way of living comes additional capacity, security and analytical requirements. Many devices classed as IoT will rely on vast amounts of data being stored safely and analysed in real-time. We will be producing more data than ever before and it will have to be stored somewhere.
4. Quantum computing
Although mainstream quantum computing is in a future more distant than 2017, it is something that should definitely be on the minds of IT managers, particularly those at large enterprises. Unsurprisingly, Google aims to be an early adopter of quantum computing, with them announcing in 2016 that they are working on building a ‘quantum computing supremacy’.
5. Software-defined storage
Virtualisation is considered quite a mature concept now, but the emergence of a new buzz term that seems synonymous with the concept has thrown some confusion into the mix. That buzz term is ‘software-defined storage’.
Software-defined storage involves separating the data plane and control plane, so that the control plane can also command other pieces of foreign storage. This allows IT managers to create a respectable storage solution without the need for high-performance hardware.
Unsurprisingly, this is becoming a popular solution with medium-sized businesses that need to scale but lack the budget to purchase high-performance storage solutions.
6. Hyper-converged storage
Hyper-convergence is another term that often gets confused with software-defined storage in the marketplace as they both provide similar storage management features.
Software-defined storage is just storage, whereas hyper-convergence incorporates storage, compute, networking, virtualisation and other technologies into a ‘box’. It may also be referred to as ‘cluster-in-a-box’ or ‘infrastructure-in-a-box’.
Gone are the days that medium-sized businesses need to find somewhere to house their mis-matched pieces of hardware each time they require expansion or upgrade. A converged infrastructure takes up much less floor space.
Some cluster-in-a-box solutions are also designed for people to set up without the specialist need for IT skills, something set to be huge for the server space in 2017. [AIRS]