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As we approach 2010, we're going to start seeing the need for digital storage increase considerably, fuelled by growth in data duplication and replication, believes Tony Howard, Project Manager at CCI Distribution.
With more and more digital content being created and shared – particularly via the internet – and replicated across multiple locations, the need for backup and deduplication technology is going to grow.
It will be interesting to see how this space develops, given that data duplication can create security concerns and put more pressure on the environment. To this effect, virtualisation technology could well be one to watch over the coming year, providing companies' security fears are allayed, as this technology can grant users remote access to their data without duplicating it elsewhere.
Secondly, as the Olympics approaches, bringing with it the inevitable security fears, I'd anticipate the surveillance market growing even further. All of this surveillance footage needs to be appropriately stored – to comply with regulatory measures – while with video quality continuing to improve, this is increasing the basic storage requirement even further.
Whatever storage technologies UK companies go for in 2010, a coherent data management strategy will be critical whether that data is stored in-house or in the cloud, argues Glyn Heath, Managing Director of Centiq Ltd.
Companies should not see new technology in itself as being a panacea, when they have accumulated infrequently or unused data on expensive disk sometimes being accessed only rarely by applications that should already have been retired.
The top storage technologies and issues to watch during 2010 will be:
It also addresses the green agenda as a result. MAID is a cost-effective technology as it's based on inexpensive disk and is a way of moving off non-critical data efficiently and cheaply to a near-line tier.
Storage technology is starting to mature as market forces, in the form of the recession and green concerns, are leading companies to adopt them.
iSCSI will finally come of age in 2010 and be a key factor in the development of the SAN market over the next few years, believes Paul Court, Technical Director, Claranet UK.
Since 2003, when it was first introduced, this IP-based storage networking standard has played second fiddle to Fibre Channel (FC). But with a number of enhancements to it since then, and other factors such as the standardisation and dropping cost of 10GbEthernet and the availability of iSCSI-based products like Dell EqualLogic, this situation is set to change.
Barriers to widespread adoption of iSCSI, such as lack of hardware support and concerns about its performance and security compared to FC, have been addressed. This means iSCSI now enables the rapid and simple deployment of a high speed, reliable storage network - which is faster and substantially less expensive than FC.
These benefits, combined with persistent pressure on businesses to reduce costs and improve infrastructure efficiency, will see the iSCI market grow from $2bn in 2009 to $4bn in 2012, according to Gartner. FC will remain the best solution for large organisations with the heaviest data traffic for some time yet, but for most others, iSCSI will become the norm.
However, it's important to remember that this growth is dependent on the correct deployment and usage of iSCSI. Careful design of the infrastructure is crucial. Like voice over IP, iSCSI will perform poorly unless attention is paid to how it will interact with the network and the applications running on it.
We're introducing iSCSI, using Dell EqualLogic, to our data centres as part of our virtualisation strategy. The resulting cost reductions and performance and efficiency enhancements will be enjoyed by our customers.
I would suggest that the top two storage issues to watch in 2010 are storage in the cloud and green IT, states Greg McCulloch, UK MD, Interxion.
Although green has become somewhat of a ‘buzzword' in the storage industry, it is an issue that is returned to time and time again and remains important for vendors and customers.
There are a few technologies that I see as particularly influential in the drive for green IT, including Solid State Disk (SSD), very fast, low-power storage devices.
Also, Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID), as each physical disk drive is powered up only when the need for data access occurs - this is advantageous in applications such as data archiving, where information is often written once then read very infrequently, if at all.
Finally, I would highlight data deduplication techniques, whereby the same logical data is stored in a smaller physical disk drive footprint.
All of these technologies contribute greatly to the drive towards green IT and I can see great importance for these in 2010.
One of the biggest issues coming over the horizon is the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) which, when legally enforceable, will have a dramatic impact on the entire green agenda and the data centre.
I also expect cloud to be one to watch out for in 2010. The popularity of the cloud has grown in 2009 and I can see its potential expanding over the next few years.
The critical issues here are the capability, capacity and scalability to store massive amounts of data and the utilisation of emerging Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) applications that are being considered to enable Service Providers to offer cloud storage on a pay-as-you-go basis.
There is no question that mobile will be both a huge opportunity and a challenge for storage companies of all sizes and backgrounds in 2010, says Dominic Cross, General Manager of Livedrive.
Whether you're an enterprise datacentre technology company or consumer & SME cloud storage business, users are going to want to access their data from their mobile device. In 2009 Smartphones came of age, and they're gaining more market share each month. In 2010 the industry needs to rise to the challenge and make sure they're supporting these platforms, or risk being left behind.
The challenge that mobile presents is that it's not just about showing the files on the device (as you might on a PC), it's about displaying the content too - whether its documents, reports or multimedia. The native mobile viewers mostly can't handle the variety that the work force will throw at them, so it puts the onus on the developers at the storage technology companies to provide solutions. Also we suspect that 2010 is the year that cloud storage and cloud apps will appear on the roadmap for many more businesses, as they look for cheaper and more flexible alternatives to expensive, complicated and often aging internal technology. This is going to be an exciting time, with a whole raft of new use cases, requirements and opportunities. Obviously top of the agenda will be security, scalability and reliability - businesses should be 100% sure that the company they're partnering with provides the infrastructure and safeguards required to protect their data.
The primary storage issue for businesses as we enter 2010 is the data management implications of virtual and cloud-based environments, observes Phil Bridge, MD at Kroll Ontrack UK.
At Kroll Ontrack, we have seen a ten fold increase in data recovery requests from virtual environments during 2009, and expect this to rise over the coming year. Businesses should not be discouraged from implementing virtual environments, however it's essential that this relatively new technology is managed correctly. Virtualisation introduces an added layer of complexity to existing IT infrastructures so this must be taken into consideration. Business critical data and applications must not be over consolidated. It is imperative that backup processes essential for physical storage are adapted and maintained for virtual environments; virtualisation is not a panacea for secure data storage and mustn't be treated as such. The same caution must be applied to businesses moving data to the cloud. Like virtualisation, the next twelve months will see a dramatic growth in the adoption of cloud-based storage. We envisage many IT departments encountering serious data access problems when they come to migrate their data to the cloud.
While much has been quiet on the green front in 2009, we should expect a big resurgence in early 2010, due to the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), argues Alec Selvon-Bruce, Eco-Solutions Champion at Hitachi Data Systems.
This mandatory carbon trading scheme becomes effective in April this year and will mean a lot of energy inefficient businesses will feel the impact on their bottom line, perhaps for the first time. IT is likely to bear the brunt of the green drive, with organisations looking closely at a product's carbon footprint across its entire lifecycle. 2010 will also see enterprises take their first tentative steps into cloud storage models. While cloud is unlikely to see wide-scale enterprise adoption next year, the potential cost benefits will encourage many companies to look at it as an option for lower tier, infrequently accessed data. As a result, we could see the cloud storage market take significant steps forward next year.
Unified storage, driven by virtualisation, cloud and a shift towards a dynamic data centre model, will be the key theme of 2010, says John Rollason, Solutions Marketing Manager UK, NetApp.
The storage system will no longer be a collection of interoperable components, but rather a single solution that's unified at the core. At the heart of the unified storage system is an intelligent virtulisation engine that optimises data management regardless of the transport protocol. In 2010 we will see more of unified storage as it increasingly becomes the way forward. The ability to send network and storage down one patch reduces time to deployment, increases operational efficiency and readies IT infrastructure for the dynamic data centres of the future.
Within this, virtualisation has played a key role in making IT more dynamic by breaking static ties to physical hardware. The final piece of the puzzle is cloud and the evolution towards IT-as-a-Service. As businesses becomes more competitive and demand more flexibility and higher service levels from IT, customers will have no choice – they need cloud and on-demand compute. The questions on every customer's lips in 2010 will be how do I move to a dynamic data centre model to prepare myself for cloud, and how do I build a cloud?
Fibre Channel over Ethernet will be the other driving force behind storage efficiency in 2010. Today, IT departments have evolved to use many different storage technologies running across multiple storage networks. Some are dedicated networks – typically based on FibreChannel SAN, others are shared with other network traffic – typically based on Ethernet. This results in complexity and poor efficiency which could be avoided with a single, converged network infrastructure. Convergence towards integrated networks is made possible through genuine Gigabit Ethernet alternatives for storage infrastructure which haven't been technically possible until now. It is clear that the future for enterprise connectivity is Ethernet. It powers networks, servers and now, end-to-end storage.
One of the big technology trends to watch in 2010 will be the continued growth in Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape (D2D2T) strategies, explains Molly Rector, VP of Product Management at Spectra Logic.
End-users are increasingly taking a tiered approach to storage rather than a one-size-fits-all tack. With virtualization taking off, sales of enterprise-class disk arrays are continuing to grow, but these technologies come at a price.
If storage resources are not properly utilised, the associated costs – both CAPEX and OPEX - quickly eat into the ROI which virtualization can deliver.
A D2D2T scheme provides quick access to data that is needed frequently, while persistent data can be moved on to lower cost media. The use of tape also makes it possible to move more mature data offsite for disaster recovery protection and to comply with regulatory policies for long-term data retention at a relatively inexpensive cost. The vast majority of end-users that have tried to go to a disk-only approach have quickly realised the error of their ways.
Another major theme will be looking at how customers will deal with huge amounts of data growth that we are currently seeing.
We are now in the midst of a perfect storm where the amount of data being created is growing, through undertakings like the digital switchover, while various pieces of legislation are forcing IT departments to retain a greater proportion of that data for compliance reasons.
Couple this growth with increased constraints on space, power and cooling and it is no wonder that storage density, capacity and deduplication are all hot topics.ShareThis
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