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Foreword From The Chair
The year was 2015 when a few of us from different companies in the storage industry came together to discuss collaborating on a software project. It was a small but significant moment for an industry notorious for being highly proprietary.
The Linux Foundation OpenSDS project was launched as a result of that discussion, with the mission to address storage integration challenges. With increased interest, the OpenSDS project expanded into the SODA Foundation last year to better meet the needs of a growing and more diverse community. SODA Foundation’s goals were many, including building solutions for end users, data management standardization, cross-project integration, technology roadmapping, and gaining deeper insight into the industry as a whole.
To accomplish these goals, we needed a comprehensive study of the current data and storage landscape, and the role of open source in it. In addition to covering existing and emerging data and storage technologies, we also wanted this study to reflect how they are applied in the data center, the cloud, and the edge. This report is the culmination of the 2021 Data and Storage Trends Survey conducted in partnership with the Linux Foundation Research team. We also invited the following communities to be our survey partners, expanding reach across different domains, platforms, industries and regions. These partners included Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Storage Networking Industry Association, Open Infrastructure Foundation, Storage Performance Council, Japan Data Storage Forum, China Open Source Cloud League, and Mulan Open Source Community.
The report reveals the top data and storage challenges faced by users, storage use trends (tape is not dead!), vendor product strategies, cloud storage use cases, and the important priorities for enterprises in the next 3 years, and beyond.
Some findings in this report such as the rise of cloud native, and the ubiquity of software-defined storage, are in line with general trends.
An interesting but not unusual finding is how the majority of vendors are now prioritizing open source. Traditionally, every vendor builds its ecosystem to achieve maximum lock-in. The business rationale behind that is understandable, and at times necessary for security, interoperability, and other objectives. The proliferation of open source technologies such as Kubernetes tests the limits of proprietary ecosystems, forcing vendors to rethink and embrace open source as a business strategy. That does not necessarily mean vendors are opening their tightly guarded ecosystems. Instead, it means that they typically engage open source as a means to extend their ecosystems. Regardless, more vendor involvement in open source ultimately benefits end users.
This brings us to how and where SODA brings value to vendor and end user organizations. This report validated the focus areas and direction of the Foundation. At the same time, it shows there is much work to be done, and many opportunities for improvement along the way. We hope it will help guide business and technology leaders in their decision making and strategic approaches.
Finally, I would like to thank the LF Research team for assisting in this crucial research, our survey partners and everyone that participated in the survey.
Chair, SODA Foundation
VP & CTO Cloud Solution – Storage, Futurewei
Survey Partners’ Quotes
“Data has changed the nature of both enterprise computing and business operations. No longer can companies take a passive or reactive approach to market changes or customer behaviors. Understanding how to collect, manage and consume data is a competitive advantage in today’s digital economy, and we believe the 2021 Data and Storage Trends Report can inform this journey.”
“Our collaboration with SODA Foundation represents our service to industry and community as a research center for understanding key technology trends that inform open source development and resource allocation. Linux Foundation Research is happy to be doing this important work with SODA Foundation, and we believe the 2021 Storage and Data Trends Report can advance the work of its community and the broader open source ecosystem and tech community.”
“Storage is one of the most core components of cloud native infrastructure but, historically, persistent storage systems were run outside of cloud native and Kubernetes environments. This has changed in recent years as the cloud native storage space has exploded with new tools and industry efforts emerging to enable storage of persistent state in cloud native environments. The Data and Storage Trends Report provides valuable insights to help the ecosystem understand how these tools are being adopted in cloud environments."
“It’s clear open source is paving the way for innovation in the data and storage space. Now we know how companies are using open source to advance their cloud native and container strategies. The Data and Storage Trends report from SODA Foundation will be an invaluable resource for months to come.”
"The results of the SODA 2021 Data and Storage Trends Report show just how important open infrastructure is to large organizations managing data at petabyte scale. Technologies like containers and software-defined storage are going to lead the way, with open source and open communities being the primary drivers making it happen.”
"Findings from the Data and Storage Trends Report really shine a light on where we can support our members and accelerate technical development to fully take advantage of this data. This is an extremely useful body of work from SODA Foundation and Linux Foundation Research."
"SODA Foundation is in a unique position to be able to survey a diverse group of businesses and end users, so this new information from the Data and Storage Trends Report is incredibly powerful."