The storage market has undergone quite a significant evolution over the past few decades. In the beginning, the material dominated. Then came the era of software supremacy. The hardware underpinned a software layer that largely contained the bells and whistles. More recently, software-defined storage has shifted focus, as has reliance on the cloud.
Yet storage software remains a vital area of IT infrastructure. Here are five of the top skills to keep you ahead of trends in the storage software job market:
1. Upgrade to Software Defined Storage
Software-defined storage (SDS) separates storage software from its underlying hardware. This frees storage software from the constraints of traditional network attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) architectures. The development of SDS marked the end of the era of dominance held by proprietary storage hardware, which offered much more flexibility. SDS is an element of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems that have grown in popularity.
“A greater focus on software-defined storage for traditional storage software personnel will open up the job market,” said Greg Schulz, analyst at StorageIO Group.
“But keep in mind that you also need to get a good understanding of storage hardware, servers, networks, and services.”
2. Go multi-domain
Trying to stay rigidly in an internal storage silo will no longer suffice. Those who take this approach may find themselves looking for a new job. Over the past few years, storage job descriptions have changed. Storage professionals are required to delve into networking and security practices that were once someone else’s domain. In departments deploying HCI, for example, the storage specialist role has been dismantled in favor of a broader virtualization administrator. In large IT organizations, roles have diversified. What were once very manufacturer-centric skills are now being expanded to include multiple types of on-premises and cloud storage software and technologies.
“For many storage software professionals, this is an attractive transformation, facilitated by a succinct training program from online tutorials available through Skillsoft and Udemy,” said Augie Gonzalez, director of technical marketing at DataCore Software.
“The ability to experiment with virtual sandbox setups that they quickly set up and tear down is engaging, even fun. I’ve heard from some of them that their daily duties are much more rewarding and make them more versatile, opening the door to future job opportunities.
3. Add management skills
Gonzalez of DataCore Software added that the lines were blurring between storage management and storage software tasks.
Storage software specialists should therefore incorporate as many storage management skills as possible, and vice versa.
What seems to be happening is that individual functions that belonged to separate areas of storage software – mirroring, fault tolerance, snapshots, etc. – are widely integrated into larger storage management suites. These systems provide all the necessary functions, but also encompass extensive management capabilities across the infrastructure.
4. Embrace heterogeneity
There was a time when it was very profitable to be an EMC or NetApp software expert, an IBM middleware specialist, or someone who could configure software for Dell IP SANs.
Anyone who sticks to this approach will find that commitments steadily decrease over time. What is needed in the modern world of storage software is the ability to span heterogeneous systems and go beyond a single-vendor specialty. People don’t tend to keep hardware from just one storage vendor in the store these days.
“In 2022, users will demand an all-inclusive software solution that provides vendor-neutral file migration, replication and synchronization across heterogeneous storage environments, including disk, tape and public or private clouds,” said said Surya Varanasi, CTO at StorCentric.
“By doing so, users will eliminate data silos, improve employee productivity, and provide an additional layer of data protection.”
5. Analytics could be a great added value
Analysis is big business. According to Quince Market Insights, the global market The data analytics market is worth an estimated $25 billion in 2021. With an expected annual growth rate of 25% through at least 2030, it is expected to be one of the strongest areas in any technology.
Those working in storage software would therefore be wise to tap into this trend and use it to put their skills in high demand. By combining their storage software skills with their analytical acumen, they can help the business leverage the vast repositories of data stored in storage arrays, NAS filers, and archives. This can help business leaders isolate trends that would otherwise be lost.
“Because the importance of data to the business has never been greater, IT professionals who have a deep understanding of data science will excel,” said Vadim Vladimirskiy, CEO of Nerdio.
“IT professionals should become experts in enterprise-level data extraction and analysis tools and techniques today to better inform executive decision-making. Going forward, IT professionals should refine their ability to link, share, and analyze information between applications with robust data pipelines and automated workflows that can move data from one place to another. , while synchronizing the departments of the company.