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Key Storage Trends Through 2010

  • March 28 2006, 1:00am EST
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The total disk storage in the world grew by 59.3 percent to reach 457 petabytes in 2005. This includes storage inside computers and in external storage devices. This phenomenal growth will continue through 2010, as key drivers of regulatory compliance, new storage-intensive applications, constantly improving storage costs and storage management capabilities remain throughout the planning period.

Compliance with government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA is generating significant demand for additional storage capacity. Significant new data is required to achieve compliance, with new retention policies being mandated. These regulations are generating significant emphasis as well on information lifecycle management (ILM), security and privacy capabilities along with the skills and staffing to plan for, and implement solutions in these areas.

The desire to store quantities of new data types is generating demand for storage as well. This includes both structured and unstructured data, particularly for applications exploiting multimedia (video/audio, complex 3D graphics and animation) as well as newer technologies such as RFID. New applications are just emerging to fuel this new demand for storage.

Fortunately, new technologies are continuously being brought to market that are enabling users to meet new storage demands at a reasonable cost. The major vendors all offer single system capacity with over 250 terabytes and with network attached configurations over a petabyte. In essence, disk storage is free - at less than 1 CENT per Megabyte. Capacity and price will continue to improve. Tape storage is mainly used for archival/off site storage with normal backup data remaining on disk at these prices. Note: It was not until the mid 1990s before disk prices were lower than $5.00 per megabyte.

High availability and many storage systems management functions are now contained in the storage controller units. They are powerful "computers" themselves. Some even contain two IBM p5 CPU's to provide the processing for these critical functions. The increased functionality of the controller will continue to define the differentiation between vendors.

Market Impact for Users:

  • Rethink how to staff for, and support, the new storage environment.
  • Massive amounts of storage, configured into storage "fabrics" (NAS, SAN), along with increased complexity of disaster recovery and business continuity (BC), with new requirements dictated by government regulations, go beyond the capabilities of DBA's and other current storage management organizations.
  • Storage teams should be put in place with skills inILM, BC, storage management, security, data architecture and storage "utility" management.
  • These new organizations should include representatives from user constituencies as well.
  • The storage team scope should include all enterprise storage including user "personal" storage on their PC's.

Market Impact for Vendors:

  • Services opportunities exist to assist users in the creation and management of the new complex storage environment.
  • This could even include the outsourcing of all, or part of user storage requirements including multiplatform/multivendor storage management.
  • Other key services could include assistance in developing and implementing Information Lifecycle Management and business continuity policies.
  • Leveraging critical skills across multiple users can provide real value to users lacking requisite staff.

Strategic Planning Positions (SPPs):

  • Through 2010, storage CAGR will be 40 percent-plus.
  • By 2010, disk $/Mb will be <$0.0002.
  • By 2010, magnetic HDD price/performance will be superior to solid state.

Major Storage Vendors

  • EMC
  • IBM
  • Hitachi/HDS
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Sun Microsystems

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