The State of Storage, Information Week Analytics Report of 2011 points out that most of the woes of enterprises begin with double digit data volumes and single digit budgets. However, technology innovation and product evolution hold out some hope and provide a means of surmounting the problems of small budgets. Consequently, storage demand is on the increase with expectations that the demand will expand at the rate of 20% per year. The survey concludes that data centers will double their storage capacity in the next two years.

According to the survey report, catastrophes will be avoided due to storage consolidation and the evolution of higher density magnetic media, high speed, larger capacity solid state disk, and integrated data reduction software. It is expected that virtualization will simplify the management of large storage pools and data reduction technologies (such as thin provisioning) will create efficiencies of available storage. Fiber channel Ethernet services will catch on and mature cloud services will further facilitate optimized storage. The storage wish-lists in the enterprises surveyed are focused on rapid consolidation of existing storage, backup efficiency, cost reduction, automated tiering and increasing storage in the cloud.

The IT prognosticators predict that the storage trends that will be witnessed in 2011 will be a continuum of the evolving perspectives on storage that characterized 2010 and earlier years. 2010 witnessed large-scale consolidation drives by large storage vendors. Enterprises that seeded IT R & D and product prototypes gobbled up innovations that showed promise. Hewlett Packard won the bidding war with Dell over 3 Par and EMC acquired Isilon for scale out network attached storage and Dell grabbed Compellent.

Further, the survey indicated that convergence trends will continue with iSCSI maintaining its significance in 2011. Virtual server use will increase as shared storage becomes popular and SAN and LAN become available at lower costs, increasing scalability, flexibility and easing network management. Even Government entities will increasingly move towards consolidation and storage will be centralized on FCoE or iSCSI SAN. Emerging block virtualization schemes that can dynamically allocate capacity will challenge RAID technology. Automated tiering to match storage requirements with the correct tier will make for greater transparency in tiered storage.

While the above storage technologies are seen to be in the early stages of adoption, the survey shows that they are evolving rapidly and increasing adoption is expected to drive innovation in the coming years.


Survey Name: InformationWeek Analytics 2011 State of Enterprise Storage Survey
Survey Date: November 2010
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 377

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