To quote a well-known mobile phone campaign, “The future’s bright.”

For the IT industry, this has always been a fitting phrase, as it is our responsibility to make ideas and dreams a reality through technology. Remember when consumers were thought it would be so great to have video phones, something to play music on when you work out, something that washed and dried clothes, or even cars that drove themselves. As we look at these dreams that are now a reality to everyday consumers, it’s easy to think what technology will impact our lives in the future. But, the real question is – are we ready for it?

Because of the internet, technology has rapidly accelerated in the last 20 years. Making all this possible is a myriad of connected infrastructures that are the vital foundation that keep technology running. If we look back when the computer was first introduced mainstream, the entire back-end of it would be in the same room as the user. Today, the massive amount of data a computer produces and stores are far more likely to be in a datacenter on the other side of the country. While it may be out of sight – it should never be out of mind.

Today’s modern datacenter needs to support the dynamic nature of modern businesses, including seamlessly scaling with growth and demand, delivering superior user experience so employees don’t see any downtime, and supporting the need for businesses to be agile in response to changing market requirements. The only certainty about what’s next for business of the future will be different and will come faster than anyone has predicted.

As society becomes increasingly connected, data needs to be ever more intimidating. Gartner recently reported that there will be 21 billion connected devices by 2020, and in order to make the data from all devices meaningful, it must be supported by an infrastructure that can store large quantities in a quick and real-time manner, as well as be highly flexible to scale up to accommodate future demands.

With this in mind, enterprises are increasingly turning to all-flash arrays to support their datacenters and prepare their business for what’s next. As a result, they must focus on three critical strategies to ensure they are investing in the right storage for the future.

Predictability drives performance

When looking to invest in a storage platform, businesses must ask themselves this question: does your storage system provide the predictability required to look ahead to the future? Do you know what will happen if new applications or processes are added to the system?

A predictable storage platform — one that prepares a business for its next wave of challenges — must deliver on multiple fronts, starting with the scalability and performance that grows with business demands, all while remaining cost effective, easy-to-use and reliable. Without reliable, predictable performance from a storage platform, businesses will be unprepared when the unexpected happens.

Capacity for demand growth

All-flash arrays are increasingly designed to handle both mixed workloads and provide agile scalability to match demand needs. Today’s businesses often need storage that combines performance with capacity, especially if it has plans to grow quickly to meet increasing customer demand. All-flash storage works towards a higher performance within a shared pool of storage volumes, and with the ability to both scale-up and scale-out, customers can optimize performance and overall efficiency for specific applications. As datacenters take on newer, more data-intensive tasks, and create more data, flash storage creates the optimal environment to handle all of these different workloads.

Flexibility designed for the future

Storage can become a big investment for most businesses, so being able to scale with hardware is crucial. All-flash is designed with flexibility in mind, ensuring that businesses can use the most cost-effective hardware available and retire older hardware in a non-disruptive manner.

Without storage, datacenters wouldn’t exist. It is the platform that is already supporting businesses across all types of activity – from experiencing a digital transformation to leveraging the Internet of Things, and extracting value from big data, as well as supporting employees and customers with advanced applications. As the industry continues to grow in complexity, businesses need to focus on ensuring that their storage infrastructure is ready now, so their business can thrive in the future.

(About the author: By Tom O’Neill is chief technology officer EMEA at Kaminario)

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