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Technology in 2016: Predictions for the enterprise

With 2016 fast approaching, Steve Wharton, Office of the CTO for Enterprise Solutions EMEA at flash storage company SanDisk, has outlined six predictions for the new year.

  1. Cost will drive adoption

Cost is ultimately what drives the speed of new technology adoptions. As the cost of flash declines, we believe flash adoption in the enterprise will continue to grow as a result.

In many instances, it’s not just long term total cost of ownership (TCO) that makes flash more cost efficient – it’s actual purchase price or total cost of acquisition (TCA) of equipment that’s cheaper with SSDs. Having a better solution is just a bonus and the role of flash as primary storage should be firmly established.

  1. Profitability will directly correlate to "Fast Data” processing

Organisations are not just contending with Big Data, and the demands of the exponential growth in capacity, but the need for “fast data”- data that is ready to be analysed and mined as close to real time as possible.

In 2016, infrastructure will have to respond as fast as the user, and businesses will rely on speed to make sure revenue is not lost. They will need to retain existing customers by delivering best-in-class experiences, and they will need the ability to capitalise on opportunities by utilising collected data in the timeliest fashion, before the opportunity is gone.

  1. 3D NAND architecture will gain traction

3D technology will be the next wave for flash technology development. In 2016, we’ll begin to see 3D flash starting to infuse flash-enabled devices and systems with high levels of performance and storage capacity. The end result? More storage inside laptops and smartphones, speed and precision in Big Data processing, near real-time online experiences – and increased momentum toward the Internet of Things (IoT).

  1. Application design will evolve

As flash continues to penetrate the enterprise, those all-flash environments will lead to a massive boost in app response times and performance. But in order for that to happen first, applications will need to be better written for flash. We will see that shift take off next year.

As the design process becomes more streamlined, developers will be able to leverage the faster data processing capabilities of flash to create apps that are more powerful and offer a richer experience.

  1. Networking will continue to get faster

The network is no longer the bottleneck and we’re going to see more enterprises looking to upgrade their infrastructure. It is also now facilitating data movement to the right layer; as it’s getting faster, the demand on the server will be greater and flash adoption will be bigger.

  1. Software Defined Storage (SDS) will go mainstream

If an enterprise hasn’t already, 2016 may very well be the year they deploy SDS and data centre orchestration layers like OpenStack, which seems to have hit critical mass. We’re seeing a lot of converged systems relying on flash for performance being deployed in 2016 with flash performance compensating for the overhead of better management and abstraction.


And VMware’s recently released Virtual SAN 6.0 finally allows performance critical apps to take advantage of flash. All of this sets the stage for even more server consolidation enabled by flash.

Image source: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov