Software defined storage and security drive cloud growth, say studies

Cloud securityData centre builders and cloud service developers are at loggerheads over their priorities, according to two new reports.

The explosive growth of modern data centres is being catalysed by new hyperconverged infrastructures and software defined storage, says one study. Meanwhile another claims that enthusiasm for cloud projects to run over this infrastructure is being suffocated by security fears.

A global study by ActualTech Media for Atlantis Computing suggests that a large majority of data centres are now using hyperconverged infrastructure (HCIS) and software defined storage (SDS) techniques in the race to built computing arenas. Of the 1,267 leaders quizzed in 53 countries, 71 per cent said they are using or considering HCIS and SDS to beef up their infrastructure. However, another study, conducted on behalf of hosting company Rackspace, found that security was the over riding concern among the parties who will use these facilities.

The Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Software-Defined Storage 2016 Survey proves there is much confusion and hype in these markets, according to Scott D. Lowe, a partner at ActualTech Media, who said there is not enough data about real-world usage available.

While 75 per cent of data centres surveyed use disk-based storage, only 44 per cent have long term plans for it in their infrastructure plans and 19 per cent will ditch it for HCIS or SDS. These decisions are motivated by the need for speed, convenience and money, according to the survey, with performance (72 per cent), high availability (68 per cent) and cost (68 per cent) as top requirements.

However, the developers of software seem to have a different set of priorities, according to the Anatomy of a Cloud Migration study conducted for Rackspace by market researcher Vanson Bourne. The verdict from this survey group – 500 business decision markers rather than technology builders – was that security will be the most important catalyst and can either speed or slow down cloud adoption.

Company security was the key consideration in the top three motives named by the survey group. The biggest identified threat the survey group wanted to eliminate was escalating IT costs, which 61 per cent of the group named. The next biggest threat they want to avert is downtime, with 50 per cent identifying a need for better resilience and disaster recovery from the cloud. Around a third (38 per cent) identified IT itself as a source of threats (such as viruses and denial of service) that they would want a cloud project to address.

“Cloud has long been associated with a loss of control over information,” said Rackspace’s Chief Security Officer Brian Kelly, “but businesses are now realising this is a misconception.”