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2012 Trends to Watch: Storage
By Tim Stammers, Senior Analyst, Ovum
Data growth, Big Data, disk shortages, public cloud storage, flash memory, and other trends
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Data storage has long been something of an IT iceberg, with much of the data bulk and the challenges it creates unappreciated by businesses, and even by parts of their IT departments. This has been changing over the last year, because of the attention paid to the buzz-phrase Big Data.
Behind the hype, the reality is that data has always been big and growing, and that new analytic techniques will drive yet more consumption of data storage systems for some businesses.
Flash memory technology continues to develop, and while this is lowering the overall cost of storage systems and increasing their performance, it is also making them more complex to configure and manage
Like all things related to clouds, the emerging use of public clouds to store working copies of business data threatens a major reworking of the IT landscape. It promises to relieve some of the burden and costs of not just storage, but equally importantly, backup.
The number of public storage clouds either planned or already opened by large IT providers is already growing. All that remains is for businesses to develop trust in the integrity of those clouds. That could be a slow process.
- Data volumes will continue growing; despite continuing advances in storage technology, business spending on storage will remain flat or will increase.
- New forms of database and analytic tools will encourage storage of Big Data.
- Shortages of enterprise disk drives will occur until at least the middle of 2012, with a consequent elevation of prices, and will be worst for high-capacity drives.
- Usage of public cloud storage will continue to grow, and incumbent cloud and conventional storage suppliers will step up their efforts in this field.
- Dynamic data tiering within disk arrays will continue to boost the usage of flash memory in data centre storage. Flash memory will itself split into multiple tiers and applications, spanning dedicated usage, dynamic data tiering, cache extensions, and multiple interface standards.
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