Buyers need to know where technology is heading. Following is a guide to some of the technology trends that will shape your storage purchasing decisions.
Enterprise storage buyer's guide:
Drives and disks
Advances in solid-state-drive technology and uber-capacity SATA disks will change the way arrays are configured. Gartner believes small-form-factor (2.5inch) will become the form factor of choice, and SCSI will displace fibre channel disks to improve cost, power, cooling and configuration flexibility.
Even the networking environment will change in coming years. 10 Gigabit Ethernet enhances the performance of network-attached storage (NAS)/internet SCSI and, with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), will challenge Fibre Channel as the preferred technology for storage area networks (SANs).
Scale-out storage and unified storage architectures will become increasingly available to challenge more costly, purpose built scale-up storage platforms.
Quality and security
Thin provisioning and automated storage tiering will enhance quality of service (QoS) and reduce cost. Gartner says encryption technology will become broadly available in disk systems to address the security of Cloud-based storage.
Innovations in physical tape, such as increased transfer speeds, capacity and an overlay file system, keep relevant data for cost containment for less frequently accessed data and longer-term retention. Storage resource management (SRM) software will continue to evolve towards management of the entire storage infrastructure.
Mobility and capacity
Data mobility will go beyond the platform, the data centre and even the campus, as increasing amounts of data need to be accessible from anywhere in the world on a growing number of devices. Gartner says new methods of storing data will reduce backup and archival storage capacity requirements, and data reduction capabilities will move from predominately appliance-based solutions to an integrated component of the storage system, with portions of the primary data workload being compressed as well.
Replication and the Cloud
Replication from arrays, deduplication appliances and Cloud-based delivery methods will provide an alternative to carting tape volumes off-site. Cloud-based services are providing storage with an expanded set of options and alternatives, and are influencing storage architectures. Security is a top focus for data in transit and especially off-premises.
Gartner analyst, Dave Russell, says all of these technologies have a promised convergence into disk-based solutions, potentially eliminating the historical stovepipes among primary storage, recovery and archiving. He said the use of virtual server technology requires special planning for storage and, in particular, recovery. Also, archiving and content management is increasingly important for compliance, cost saving, information governance and application retirement.
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