It’s that time of year again when we feel compelled to gaze into the DSA crystal ball and predict what will be in the world of data and storage over the coming 12 months. When we look back at our 2017 predictions, we weren’t too far off the mark. NetApp has not quite become a cloud provider as we predicted, but they have shifted to become a cloud-first company with their data fabric story. We didn’t predict they would enter the market with their own HCI offering, but that’s consistent with being an enterprise cloud player.
Back in April of 2017, the DSA editorial team did “pat itself on the back” when the acquisition of Nimble Storage by HPE was completed. We didn’t predict who would acquire Nimble, but we did predict that they would be snapped up in 2017.
When it comes to predictions – we prefer not to go for “safe and obvious”, instead we prefer to look at the more disruptive but yet still possible changes ahead. To that end, we take great pleasure in presenting to you our outrageous predictions for 2018.
1 – Pure Storage to be acquired……by Huawei
This may not be as crazy as it sounds. Storage is a key area for Huawei, and if you look at the various magic quadrant type analysis from this year, Huawei is expanding faster than any other storage player. Pure Storage has become a billion-dollar company and thus, has achieved scale that would be interesting to Huawei’s ambition. But in a market that is seeing convergence of compute, storage and networking (not just with HCI, but with the major companies building out portfolios in both, such as Dell EMC) you have to wonder how Pure can continue to grow without becoming something more than a storage company. If we are wrong on this – we are sure of one thing, Huawei will exit 2018 as a major storage player.
2 – Tintri disappears
We actually love the Tintri technology. It was ahead of its time in being the first truly virtually aware storage. It plays well in the service provider space and without a doubt enables companies to overcome the limitations that traditional storage imposed on a virtualised environment. However, the execution has never matched the promise and after years of accumulated losses totalling over $400 million (in fact Tintri has never had a profitable quarter) and in their latest results a revenue decline too, it seems that sadly the writing may be on the wall for this company. The technology is still strong, so we expect them to be snapped up by a bigger player – but we just are not sure who that might be.
3 – Oracle Goes Consulting
During 2017 rumours circulated that Oracle was “sniffing around” Accenture. These rumours were flatly denied by the Oracle executives, and perhaps Accenture would be just too big to swallow. But as the saying goes, “There is no smoke without fire” and Oracle acquiring a consultancy company of some description sounds like a good match to us at DSA. The business press is constantly peppered with “data is the new oil” rhetoric these days and Oracle houses a lot of business data. They are well positioned to become trusted advisors for data-driven business transformation. They just need to acquire a firm of trusted advisors!
4 – Nutanix Will Go Shopping
You can’t claim to be THE enterprise cloud company but be a “one trick pony” and just sell hyperconverged boxes. OK, that’s not entirely fair. The Nutanix offering is already extensive and they cram a lot inside those boxes! However, now that they are a public company and want to accelerate into the enterprise they may need to start becoming more acquisitive. A strategic purchase of a company that extends their reach into an enterprise customer base is our bet. Who might that be? The list is long.
5 – Asean Organisations will be severely unprepared for the GDPR
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looms over the horizon. But if Asean businesses think that it will not affect them because they have no physical presence in Europe, then they’re terribly mistaken. Based on our experience being in the region, we’d say the attitude towards data privacy is lax at best. In countries like Malaysia for example, where a bank managed to lose backup tapes containing customer data and got off with barely a slap on the hand, this level of regulation is going to come as a bit of a shock. Harsh, but we predict at least one Asean company will face the full brunt of the GDPR fine for non-compliance.