Intelligent data storage is an integral part of a successful business; important aspects of data storage, such as where and how data is stored, need to be taken into consideration. Recently, the storage market has experienced a rather significant transformation. It is evident that the unmistakable sudden increase in unstructured data is predominantly driven by the explosion of mobile computing in recent years; the prevalence of social media, for example, has proven to be challenging in terms of storage.
The forefront of today’s storage market
At the moment I can identify three major trends which are clearly dominant in storage solutions – pre-validated data centre platforms, flash storage arrays and big data.
- Data centre platform: First of all, let’s look at pre-validated data centre platforms and the opportunities they present. The most important aspect of any storage solution is how easy and efficient it is to use – channel partners must make sure that they present adaptable, effective solutions that incorporate storage components into a single, flexible architecture. This offers business partners a solution with both augmented efficiencies and reduced risk. Data centre platforms with pre-validated reference architectures which include server, storage, networking and hypervisor offer extensive opportunities for professional services.
- Flash storage arrays: The popularity of flash storage is continuing to increase in the market. Data obviously needs protecting, but at the same time, performance needs to be maximised and restrictions need to be removed. The need for this has paved the way for technology which allows performance with scale in front of existing storage architecture whilst optimising connections. So as you can see, flash storage arrays offer a great opportunity for the channel; this is an area that I think business partners really need to come to terms with and make the most of.
- Big data: As a storage solution, big data is not just about offering volume. It ultimately allows companies to engage with customers on a more personal level, which is obviously advantageous to the company itself, its customers and to channel partners. What’s more, big data allows businesses to benefit from the simple, straightforward retrieval and use of stored information.
Making the most of opportunities
The recent impressive increase in data in the mid-market continues to improve revenue opportunities in the storage sector, such as the need for cloud-based application delivery and business analytics. Nowadays data storage solutions do not just play an important role for specialists – there is a much greater assortment of capabilities and comprehension levels from more and more channel partners. Not only this, but it has become increasingly clear that it is business requirements rather than technology lifecycles that drive storage solution sales.
Despite this, it’s important to realise that although there are now greater revenue prospects for business partners, specific training and skills are required to make the most of these new opportunities. Working with an experienced partner in this field can mean partners can get the training that’s right for them and that’s tailored to the storage market. This is essential in helping business partners to get to grips with the basics of data storage and the appropriate jargon that undeniably comes with it. Without a certain level of knowledge and training, new prospects will be missed and business partners will miss out on beneficial opportunities which could have been advantageous.