Storage virtualization, definitely the most noteworthy trend, continues to play a major role in maximizing data center performance and reducing costs. In order for customers to reap the full potential of a virtualized infrastructure; storage, server and networking solutions need to be ‘converged.’ Virtualization, the enabler of convergence, breaks the technology silos that have led to over-provisioned, under-utilized, difficult to manage and costly data center environments. More and more South African companies are starting to look at storage virtualization in the same light as they did server virtualization in 2009.
Cloud-based storage continues to change how companies commoditize and store exponential amounts of data. The term ‘Cloud Computing’ has been around for a number of years, but the industry has yet to come to an agreement on the definition. However, despite any ambiguity, it is the storage vendors that have come out with viable solutions amongst the myriad of cloud players. IDC predicts that the cloud computing industry is estimated to reach $42 billion by 2012.
Data deduplication improves cost and capacity-efficient backup and archiving. The technology is still evolving, but is slowly becoming part of primary storage technologies used by companies. With time, deduplication products will increase in capacity; becoming faster on the high end and cheaper on the low end. We will soon see a growth in the adoption of this solution across all sectors.
Solid State Storage Technology promises to transform the high-performance disk market. As the first decade of the 21st Century draws to an end, business and technology trends are influencing the adoption of Solid State Disks (SSDs) for the enterprise. Customers are cautious in adopting the technology as it matures, but as vendors have begun to make it more affordable, they are becoming increasingly enticed by solid state storage’s reliability. SSDs offer improved performance with increased I/Os per second (IOPS), as well as high availability and improved environmental tolerance at an affordable price point. SSDs are also energy efficient as they utilize considerably less power than standard hard drives. It is predicted this technology will double in growth in two year’s time.
Green storage initiatives are no longer a fad as the industry is realizing the business benefits of ‘greening’ their technology infrastructures – green is definitely the new black. Regulations are pressuring CIOs to reduce the carbon footprint from every corner of the data center floor. Customers are also rethinking how they produce, distribute, and consume technology resources as economic pressures are tightening IT budgets. This focus on spending reduction is why green storage approaches that are also cost-efficient and easily scalable will prove to have higher adoption.