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SolidFire Unveils Results of Independent Study Analyzing the State of Storage Automation

Managing storage performance and capacity by policy tops the list of processes being automated today; results show growing interest in OpenStack’s storage automation capabilities

BOULDER, Colo., November 18, 2015

SolidFire, the leader in all-flash storage systems built for the Next Generation Data Center, today revealed the results of an independent market research survey that offers insights into how IT professionals are using and benefitting from various storage automation tools and practices. The report, conducted by independent research organization TechValidate and comprised of over 300 global IT professionals who are not current SolidFire customers, details the drivers behind storage automation, what tools and interfaces IT professionals are using, preferences around storage management plug-ins and software development kits, and benefits realized by implementing storage automation.

The Storage Automation Usage and Trends Report revealed the following findings:

  • Storage automation is predominantly addressing immediate problems of today, and IT professionals have not yet significantly transitioned to tools that can accommodate next-generation strategies of IT deployment.
  • VMware, as the virtualization/hypervisor market share leader, unsurprisingly has a large contingent of organizations utilizing its tools for storage automation.
    • VMware vRealize being the most popular (42 percent), while Microsoft System Center (16 percent), OpenStack (15 percent), and Microsoft Powershell (15 percent) were fairly evenly split.
  • OpenStack, while not showing overwhelming usage currently, is notably being investigated or actively considered by many existing VMware, System Center and PowerShell users.
    • 26 percent of respondents and 51 percent of current VMware automation users indicate they are considering implementing OpenStack in the next year.
  • Containers, too, are poised to be a disruptive force to traditional, virtualized environments.
    • 38 percent of surveyed IT organizations who are using OpenStack are currently using or considering Docker.

“The insights gleaned from this report confirm that storage automation is one of the key goals in transitioning to a next generation data center,” said SolidFire’s VP of Corporate Development & Strategy, Dave Cahill. “While storage infrastructure has long been the least extensible component of the data center, the flexibility and simplicity of SolidFire’s API and integrations with leading management frameworks, like OpenStack, vSphere and PowerShell, allow organizations to completely automate their data centers and realize the full value of their storage investment without compromise.”

As businesses compete in today’s agile global environment, the increasing demands and velocity of change enacted on data center and IT professionals is unrelenting. They are expected to routinely manage thousands of business-critical applications, handle massive amounts of data, identify processes for automation so that production time can be reduced, and efficiently respond to daily business demands - all while managing performance and capacity under specific policies. Storage automation enables easy management of every aspect of storage provisioning, management, monitoring and reporting - improving reliability, increasing efficiency and realizing the goal of delivering IT as a service.

“As the storage market matures, today’s enterprise-class storage arrays offer many integration points with existing infrastructure and applications,” said IDC’s Storage Research Director, Eric Burgener. “With data continuing to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent over the next five years, almost all datacenters have increasing automation as a strategic focus.”

SolidFire enables complete automation of the entire storage system through its comprehensive REST-based API, which enables users to automate every aspect of cloud storage management from deployment to provisioning, to security, reporting and billing. Each integration surfaces SolidFire’s patent-pending Quality of Service (QoS) controls, allowing for complete performance automation and the development of end user self-service tools. Users can easily integrate primary storage into existing cloud management and orchestration layers and create true efficiencies that are not only easy to manage, but actually improve with scale.

The Storage Automation Usage and Trends Report collected quantitative data from more than 300 responses from IT professionals around the world. The full study that includes additional insights and graphics is available here.

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