Storage predictions for 2010

What does 2010 hold for storage? Symantec has come up with a list of trends for the coming year.

What does 2010 hold for storage? Symantec lists the trends for the coming year.

The year of deletion

The struggle to keep up with the growth of information on shrinking IT budgets will continue. The last time storage technology kept up with information growth was 2002 so, to keep up, storage admins need to lose the ‘pack rat’ mentality and start deleting information. The ‘delete’ mentality will lead to a shift from using backup as the long term storage location. Backup will return to its intended use and recovery while archiving will step in to manage the long term retention and disposition of information.

The end of the backup tape stockpile

Backup is the wrong application for information retention because it is organised around information islands — systems — rather than information. An active, deduplicated archive with automated retention and deletion dramatically reduces the cost and time of long term information storage and retrieval. In 2010, the role of backup changes to focus on short-term recovery: Fast deduplicated backups and rapid, granular recovery with built-in replication to disaster recovery sites.

Deduplication everywhere

Symantec has been telling the duplication for a few years now. But in 2010, the vendor says it will become widely deployed as a feature, rather than a standalone technology. According to Symantec, about 70 per cent of enterprises still have not deployed deduplication, but will leverage easier deployments next year as it becomes built into most storage offerings, including backup software, primary storage, replication and archiving software. As more enterprises reap the benefits of deduplication and the gap it bridges with information management, the primary issue will become management of storage resources. The demand will be for simplified and cross-platform deduplication management that save time and money.

Industry competition to drive standardised software

We can only hope! Symantec predicts industry consolidation and increasing industry competition will drive the need for heterogeneous standardised management software in 2010. The potential Sun/Oracle merge and its competition with IBM and Cisco in the integrated x86 mainframe market, will provide a variety of choices for enterprises. The options will continue to create a need for data protection, storage, and high availability technologies that eliminate information islands formed by mainframe-like vertical integration.

A year of migration

As organisations migrate to new Microsoft platforms over the next year, they will need various storage management and data management technologies. Upgrading is not always a priority for IT organisations, but Symantec says newer versions can offer technological advancements and performance enhancements that can help organisations better meet their SLAs.

As organisations migrate, they will likely make holistic technology improvements to provide improved protection and management that will support all Microsoft applications. It is important, however, that organisations not treat the new applications in a silo manner and apply platform level backup, deduplication, archiving, retention, and e-discovery solutions

Virtualisation moves beyond x86

More users will be able to benefit from virtualisation with increasing provider competition. Hyper-V will provide added functionality with Windows Server 2008 R2 and IBM will likely have continued support with AIX. In 2010, it will be clear that users can leverage all flavours of virtualisation, not just x86. The proliferation of virtualisation means users need to implement strategies and technologies that help them to manage the entire IT infrastructure — whether physical or virtual — in a robust, yet simplified and user-friendly way.

Cloud storage catches on

A growing number of enterprises will look to leverage storage architecture designs already deployed by storage service and public cloud providers. Symantec sayst the best approach to deliver storage into a business is via a combination of commodity hardware infrastructure and value-added software, but enterprise will need to decide between public, private or hybrid models. In evaluating their options, enterprise storage managers must consider the cost, scalability, availability, manageability and performance of any solution that will serve as the foundation for file-based storage services.

Cloud storage to drive data management

The continued move to cloud storage over the next year will drive enterprise organisations to implement more effective data management tools and strategies. Users can leverage cloud computing to ensure enhanced application performance and availability, but there are also inherent risks that administrators will need to address to leverage this flexibility.

No more procrastination on ‘Going Green’

In 2009, organisations began to shift from implementing ‘green’ technologies primarily for cost reduction purposes, to a more balanced awareness of also improving the organisation’s environmental standing. In 2010, these two drivers will push most enterprise organisations to implement a ‘green’ strategy. IT decision makers are increasingly justifying green IT solutions by more than cost and IT efficiency benefits. They are now looking to several factors such as reducing electricity consumption, cooling costs and corporate pressure to be ‘green.’

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