Emerging workloads, such as business intelligence and analytics, have altered the way digital content is accessed. They have also changed storage infrastructure requirements. As workloads evolve and change, IT organizations require a storage architecture that can also evolve and change at a pace demanded by the business. Enterprises are faced with various challenges including dealing with the rapid growth of data, high cost of storing this data, delivering high-performance applications, and meeting business continuity.

Over the years, numerous storage technology advances have been released to address the rising levels of digital content, such as larger capacity drives and scale-out technology. Despite the efforts of these new technologies, the challenge persists.

In order to meet these challenges, network storage investments are becoming a critical top priority. Enterprises today are increasingly investing in software-defined storage (SDS), evaluating alternate, affordable devices, which is helping them to contain the ever-increasing storage costs. SDS delivers agility, faster time to respond to change, and more purchasing-power control in terms of cost decisions. Gartner defines SDS as storage software on industry-standard server hardware [to] significantly lower OpEx of storage upgrades and maintenance costs. It also eliminates need for high-priced proprietary storage hardware.

Software-defined storage offers potential benefits to I&O leaders looking to increase storage solution flexibility and reduce costs.

Global Market

The global enterprise storage market for CY 2015 closed out on a slight downturn, as spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline. Over the past year, end-user focus has shifted toward server-based storage, software-defined storage, and cloud-based storage. As a result, traditional enterprise storage vendors are forced to revamp and update their product portfolios to meet these shifting demands.

Going forward, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 
16 percent from 2016 to 2020. The growing adoption of cloud-based storage services, big data analytics, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) will aid in the growth of this market. Owing to the recent increase in Internet penetration, the amount of digital data that is being generated will recent increase in the generation of digital data increase. This will foster the demand for efficient storage infrastructures as they help enterprises to efficiently store and process data. Additionally, factors such as the rising need to store data that is generated by end-user industries like BFSI, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail will lead to substantial growth of this market until the end of 2020.

Vendors are constantly innovating in packaging and formulations as it will help them to attract customers and spur their revenue-generating capacity. While storage and backup for virtualized environments is still a key priority, flash storage deployment appears to have plateaued.

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