It’s that time of year when we begin speculating about 2015, and the storage industry is no stranger to predictions. In keeping with tradition, we thought it would be worth throwing a few of our own predictions about the storage industry out there for consideration. Sure, we went out on a limb with some (as you can see below). But, we’re also making an effort to see how our predictions unfold in the year ahead. Let us know what you think. And, if you’re interested, there are a few places you can check out for solid predictions. We’ve listed those at the end.
Data growing, and growing, and growing: Whether it be through EMC’s annual Digital Universe Study with research and analysis by analyst firm IDC or through any number of press releases, company presentations or customer validations, data creation is growing and hence the need to manage, protect, recover, secure and even archive this data continues to grow exponentially. Heck, the Digital Universe Study alone predicted that, “the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes.” For the record, that translates into the average household creating enough data to fill 318 iPhones by 2020 as opposed to the 65 iPhones (32gb) per year now. When you combine this with Analytics, Big Data, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Cloud, IoT (Internet of Things), Virtualization and every other concept where data is at the root, and you have the Big Bang, Data Deluge, Perfect Storm, Tsunami or whichever other buzzword du jour to describe just how much data you are looking at. Suffice it to say, it can be overwhelming.
Tape is Dead, Dying, Not Dead Yet, Still Here: For close to 20 years, or perhaps since the beginning of disk storage, the cries of Tape Storage dying, its near death. Its death and even its renaissance (okay bear with me, it’s hard to let go of some client work over the years), remains. True, tape may not be as widely used as it once was in the past. It may not even have as many media or library storage options as it once did, however, expect it to be here as part of the discussion for years to come. In September of this year, HP, IBM and Quantum announced an extended roadmap with generations 9 and 10 of LTO tape. While LTO-6 is relatively recent, and with new generations introduced every two to three years, the new generations won’t be available for a few years with LTO-10 anticipated for 2021. With the announcement, expect compressed capacities of 62.5TB and transfer rates of up to 1,770 MB/s for LTO-9 and compressed capacities of 120TB and transfer rates of 2,750 for LTO-10 respectively. As with prior generations of LTO technology, each new generation will include read-and-write backwards compatibility with the prior generation, as well as read compatibility with cartridges from two generations prior. Talk about investment protection.
Object Storage will be good for <fill in the blank>: We’re coming up on the 2-year anniversary in which Martin Glassborrow, aka @Storagebod, end user, author and IT blogger, asked what ever happened to object storage? While not new, object storage has long been a technology in search of a market, or for some a solution. However, there’s never been more focus on all things object than ever before. With the advent of IDC’s Worldwide Object-Based Storage Vendor Assessment (latest to be published soon), Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Object Storage and the creation of the Object Storage Alliance (OSA) earlier this year, which was founded as “a vendor-neutral industry alliance organized to promote the business value of object addressable storage,” Vegas odds are hoping this is a breakout year. Or, at least a renaissance. With this much industry effort and focus, expect to see object storage continue to push the boundaries of scalability and performance versus traditional file system storage as well as use cases where data doesn’t change much, i.e. archive, audio files, backups, virtual machine images and video files.
Disasters will continue to happen: Sadly, just as this year saw a number of unavoidable natural disasters and upgrades gone bad, user error and/or simple mistakes will continue to garner media celebrity. The recent Azure Storage Service Interruption is just one of many from 2014, and while hopefully nothing similar will happen to Azure storage users in 2015, chances are we haven’t seen the last of any storage interruption.
Placement of the “Dot” will continue to keep everyone transfixed: While it’s been a while (at least in storage) since a company has been publicly miffed about its placement in one of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants, all eyes will continue to remain on what company gets placed in what quadrant. As evidenced by the recent article by Chris Mellor at The Register, “HDS, HP leapfrog NetApp in the land of the MAGIC QUADRANT,” for the recently released Gartner Enterprise Storage Array Magic Quadrant, companies that move in a positive direction (as close to the upper top right in the Leaders Quadrant as you can get), will continue to leverage any and all PR value in promoting their placement.
Things will remain cloudy: From public to private to hybrid to all three, companies will continue to leverage the cloud. Some may not embrace it for primary data, however, it’s safe to say that cloud storage remains attractive for not just online backup and archive, but for many other use cases. Just take a look at the success of file, sync and share technologies. And, it’s not just the ever shrinking cost or virtually unlimited (no pun intended) nature of cloud storage that is appealing to so many. Though some predict a market as large as $56+ Billion by 2019, data security and performance related issues may make a few nervous about what the cloud has to offer.
And if these predictions don’t knock your socks off, or put a skip in your backup process, check out a few others for consideration:
2015 Storage Predictions by Chris Poelker for InfoWorld’s Intelligent Storage Networking
Forrester’s 2015 Cloud Predictions by Natalie Gagliordi for ZDNet’s Between the Lines
15 for ’15: the top 15 storage predictions for 2015 by Chloe Green for InformationAge
Hot data storage technologies for 2015 by Andrew Burton, Rich Castagna, Garry Kranz, Sonia Lelii, Dave Raffo, Carol Sliwa and Sarah Wilson for TechTarget
Disclosure Notice: No clients, past, present or future were consulted in the drafting of this blog. While we like to think we have a finger on the pulse of the storage market, there are no guarantees, barring the data growth prediction, that any of these are 100% accurate. However, we like to think we’re pretty close.