DataCore has announced the results of its sixth annual survey, designed to explore the impact of major software-driven storage deployments within organizations across the globe. The survey distills the positive expectations, disappointments, and experiences of 426 IT professionals who are currently using or evaluating software-defined storage, hyperconverged and cloud storage to solve critical data storage challenges. The results yielded surprising insights from a cross-section of industries over a wide range of workloads.

The survey probed for levels of spending on technologies including software-defined storage, flash technology, hyperconverged storage, private cloud storage and OpenStack. Software-defined storage topped the charts in 2017 spending, with 16% reporting that software-defined storage represented 11-25% of their allocated budget, and 13% representing that it made up more than 25% of their allocated budget for storage (the highest of any category). Unexpectedly, the findings showed that very little funding is being earmarked in 2017 for much-hyped technologies such as OpenStack storage, with 70% of respondents marking it “not applicable.”

The report also reveals major business drivers for implementing software-defined storage. The top business drivers that participants reported for implementing software-defined storage were:

  • To simplify management of different models of storage: 55%
  • To future-proof infrastructure: 53%
  • To avoid hardware lock-in from storage manufacturers: 52%
  • To extend the life of existing storage assets: 47%
  • Only 6% of those surveyed said they were not considering a move to software-defined storage.

 One of the more interesting questions asked — “What technology disappointments or false starts have you encountered in your storage infrastructure?” — revealed the following top three answers:

  • Cloud storage failed to reduce costs: 31%
  • Managing object storage is difficult: 29%
  • Flash failed to accelerate applications: 16%

Also noteworthy is that the top two environments that respondents believe experience the most severe performance challenges (where storage is suspected to be the root cause) are databases and enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, etc.). The need for faster databases and data analytics is driving new requirements for technologies that optimize performance and meet demand for real-time responses. This is critical for business insights and to power technologies such as the Internet of Things. However, many feel that current technologies designed to accelerate performance and decrease latency also bring along significant disruptions to existing applications, greater complexity and higher costs.

 Additional highlights of DataCore’s sixth annual survey include:

  •  A look at the current state of hyperconverged infrastructure, including lower than expected deployment numbers. A majority of respondents stated they were either not considering hyperconverged at all (33%) or were strongly considering it but haven’t deployed it yet (34%). 20% of respondents said that they have a few nodes; 7% are in major deployment(s), while only 6% are standardized on it.
  • As prevalent as flash has become, only a small number of respondents reported a large amount of storage capacity assigned to it. About 60% of respondents fell within the category of having less than 10% to 20% of total capacity assigned to flash.
  • In looking at applications deemed ready for a hybrid cloud infrastructure, the primary types of applications users are willing to move to a public cloud or hybrid cloud infrastructure were select enterprise applications (i.e. Salesforce): 33%, data analytics: 22%; and databases: 21%.

To view the entire report, including additional findings on software-defined storage, hyperconverged storage, cloud storage, and related storage technologies, please visit the website.