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10 Trends for 2009

by Hu Yoshida on Jan 17, 2009

I am often asked what trends I see for 2009. Here are my top ten. I would be interested in knowing what others have as their top ten for storage.

  1. Focus on Storage Economics. Even in tough economic times, data storage requirements will continue to grow. IT will be focused on minimizing storage costs with payback on any new investments in 6 to 8 months.  IT will look at investments in terms of the impact on their total storage assets. New metrics like Gartner’s ROA, Return on Assets, and Forrester’s TEI, Total Economic Impact, will replace narrowly focused ROI, return on an investment in isolation
  2. Focus on operational expense over capital expense. Research from analyst firms like IDC, Gartner, Forrester, and ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) show that while capital costs have remained flat, operational costs are accelerating with the growth of data to where it is two to three times capital costs. The focus will be on reducing operational costs through consolidation, increased utilization, data reduction, and archiving of stale data. IT will look to technologies like storage virtualization, dynamic provisioning, deduplication, and active archive to address these issues.
  3. Adoption of storage virtualization 2.0. This is a term that has been defined by IDC and Gartner for server virtualization. Virtualization 1.0 was about consolidation and increased utilization. Virtualization 2.0 is about the aggregation of new services to enhance what has been virtualized. With storage virtualization 2.0, the virtualization engine will be able to virtualize lower level midrange and legacy storage and promote their performance, connectivity, availability, and functionality to enterprise class storage levels.
  4. More storage capacity will shift to lower cost midrange storage. With virtualization 2.0, enterprise storage capacity can be replaced by midrange storage capacity without sacrificing enterprise class capabilities. Midrange customers who need to upgrade to enterprise class storage systems can implement virtualization 2.0 without ripping and replacing their midrange storage.
  5. Flash-based SSDs will continue to be a niche market. Due to current economic conditions adoption of expensive flash-based SSD disk assemblies will be limited .Virtualization 2.0 with thin provisioning and dynamic tiered services will be needed to maximize the utilization of SSDs.
  6. Adoption of active archives. As a result of increased oversight due to bailouts, increasing litigation, regulations, and compliance requirements, more businesses will need to implement an active archive for email, and other electronic records. Another benefit of archiving is the reduction of operational costs through the removal of stale data from the production working set. Active archives can store a gold copy of the data object into a policy driven archive which will manage its life cycle from ingestion to end of life. High visibility projects like the presidential archives for the United States will focus attention on this solution.
  7. Risks for managed services, out-sourcing, and off-shoring of storage will increase. No company will be immune to the impact of the economic downturn. Although it is tempting to have a third party take over the IT assets and transfer the IT head count off the books, there is no guarantee that they can do a better job in this economy while managing to make a profit and maintain cash flow. There are tasks that can be out sourced like help desk or CRM, but out sourcing the company’s primary data will be seen as risky. in 2009
  8. The hype around cloud storage will diminish. Attention will shift to practical solutions available through SaaS. While some vendors will continue to take advantage of cloud storage buzz, the industry will come to the realization that cloud is really about the network and not storage. The requirements for storage continue to be scalability, multitenancy, and security whether in the cloud or in the data center. Cloud or SaaS providers like SalesForce.com will offload some of the workload from the data center but the majority of the data will be stored and managed in the data center through 2009.
  9. Integration of file and content storage data discovery. Due to the increase of unstructured data and semi- structured data like email and SharePoint, there will be an increasing need for data discovery – the ability to find and access that one object in an increasing ocean of data.  Products like the Hitachi Data Discovery Suite that provide common search across different file and content storage systems will increase in importance.
  10. 2009 will provide a breather for IT to clean up their storage management house. Over the past few years when business was booming, IT had to scramble to keep up with growth. Often times it consisted of throwing capacity at the growth with no real strategy for sustainability. Now that demand in most sectors has slowed down, there is time for IT to take stock of where it is in terms of a long term storage strategy. It is important for IT to take a bench mark of where they are in terms of utilizations and operational costs with a storage economics study and develop a long term strategy for modernization and sustainability that will position them to take maximum advantage of the next upturn. That bench mark will also help IT to show the value of their improvement to their financial over seers. Too often IT does not get credit for value that they bring to the business because they never bothered to measure it
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Comments (3 )

Cloud Storage in 2009 | Crackpot Ideas on 18 Jan 2009 at 8:53 pm

[...] Hu Yoshida, the CTO at Hitachi Data Systems, has a blog post up outlining his IT predictions for 2009.  Some of them are fairly uncontroversial (midrange storage will continue to get more high-end features, people will spend less money buying new storage, more money on managing it more efficiently, etc.), but there’s one I find interesting: [...]

Carter George on 20 Jan 2009 at 4:26 pm

Great post, Hu, and one that speaks to the immense possibility of dedupe and other capacity optimizing solutions. We at Ocarina Networks expect dedupe for online data to become a must-have table-stakes feature in active archives – where the fact that archives grow forever, files in them don’t change, and data reduction can be applied to files in the archive by policy – make active archives a natural place for aggressive content-aware dedupe and compression for online data. For more on what we predict:

Hu Yoshida on 22 Jan 2009 at 5:50 pm

Read your post on cloud storage in 2009 and I agree with much of what you said. We agree that mainline storage will not be migrated out of the data center in the near future but applications like backup and archive could be perfect for off site storage. With the focus in 2009 around the economy and budgets, data centers will be very practical in the way they approach “cloud”. It will have to provide a quick return and it has to be provided by vendors with staying power, since vendors also face the same economic challanges. SaaS is a practical application of the “cloud” that has been around for several years.
Storage vendors do not see this as a threat, but as more of an opportunity for future growth.

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