Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Storage won't be commodity

VentureBeat has some 2013 predictions, including one from Bipul Sinha of Lightspeed Venture Partners. (Lightspeed invests in Tintri and several other storage startups.)

“The enterprise storage market is experiencing a tectonic shift led primarily by virtualization and storage media disruptions. The incumbents are slow to respond, and the startup activity is at an all-time high. The new year will witness two significant trends: an acceleration of storage and compute hyper-convergence and a bifurcation of performance and capacity tiers for shared enterprise storage.

“These trends will eventually commoditize the storage layer of the enterprise information technology stack and essentially propel the emergence of software defined, agile enterprise datacenter.”

It doesn't seem to me that both these points can be true. If the storage layer is really going to become commodity, then VCs are just burning money by backing anybody in the sector. On the other hand, if virtualization requires a different set of storage assumptions, behaviors, and controls--- or if the future is converged compute and storage--- then the resulting products will hardly be interchangable "commodity" components!

I do think Bipul is correct to point out the separation occurring in the storage market, but it is into three tiers, not two. High-capacity "bulk" storage is one part of the market, and ultra-high performance storage operates at a quite different point. But the majority of enterprise workloads don't fit neatly into either of these categories. The software-defined data center will require storage that is virtual-machine aware, operates well over a broad range of applications, and requires little in the way of customization or management. This application-centric storage tier is where Tintri focuses.
Tags: startup, storage
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