Software innovation will blast monolithic hardware

The forward “predictions for 2013” pre-Christmas honeymoon is now thankfully over. Time enough then… for a serious look at software futures.

The so called “explosive amount of structured and unstructured data” is, as we know, having a profound impact upon cloud, middleware, storage and virtualisation technologies.

But where are the biggest ripples being felt?

Is it inside the hardware universe or the software universe?

Red Hat’s Paul Cormier is president of products and technologies. He asserts that open source software will now, in the immediate future, start to drive proprietary storage hardware and software stacks.

So what is he talking about?

Essentially, if you had to place your money down today, it is safe to say that the rapid pace of innovation at the software layer is soon to (if it has not already) surpassed the pace of innovation at the hardware layer.

Cormier points out that today, monolithic proprietary storage hardware and its proprietary software layer cannot be decoupled.

“This will all change in 2013 with the rapid commoditisation and standardisation at the hardware level combined with increased intelligence at the software layer,” says Cormier.

Red Hat’s sound-bite du jour in this space is as follows… Enterprise storage will transform from a ‘data destination’ into a ‘data platform.

According to Red Hat’s Cormier, “As a platform for big data and not just a destination for data storage, enterprise storage solutions will need to deliver cost-effective scale and capacity; eliminate data migration and incorporate the ability to grow without bound; bridge legacy storage silos; ensure global accessibility of data; and protect and maintain the availability of data.”

… and the consequences here?

Not too much to worry about in 2013, the operating system will still be the operating system and eggs will still be eggs. But news business models could and should now emerge to take advantage of the way that software is outstripping, driving and leading hardware use case models.

It’s a CIO message, it’s a developer message and it’s a database administrator message – what’s not to like?