Looking Into the Storage Industry?s Crystal Ball: 2012 Predictions

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As we say goodbye to another exciting year in the storage industry, we begin to set our sights on the future and what lies ahead.  While demand for data storage technologies continues to be strong and preparing for managing and effectively utilizing Big Data prevails in many organizations’ new initiative investigation; several technology drivers will directly and immediately impact the storage industry as we head into the New Year. Here’s a look at my predictions for 2012:

Tape is Here to Stay

Tape will continue its resurgence, driven in part by the increasing adoption of tape to offload spinning disk storage. Tape will be used as primary storage file storage for long-term data retention and will remain the most cost-effective enterprise storage media for Big Data and Cloud Storage environments.

Explosive Data Growth Continues

Data growth will continue unabated and more organizations will approach Petabyte capacities and seek new ways to manage, index and access their vast data volumes utilizing active archives.  In fact, the amount of data we manage today will seem insignificant five years from now.

More Cloud Storage Adoption

Cloud storage will increase in adoption with a heightened emphasis on data accessibility and security.

Big Data is Big Driver

Big Data will drive the movement toward massive library repositories that meet both capacity and economic requirements of massive data volumes and large data files. Much of the focus in 2011 on Big Data has been on analytics and how to derive value from this mass of data.  In 2012, we will start to hear more about how to retain and store this data.

Purpose-built SSD Systems Gain Steam

SSD will make further storage inroads and begin taking market share, albeit small, from enterprise disk. Purpose-built SSD systems will gain traction and compete with traditional disk systems that have added SSDs into existing designs.

Hardware-based Data Integrity Verification Required

Hardware-based data integrity verification will become a requirement for ‘best practice’ archive storage.

Spotlight on RAID Rebuild Times

Rebuild times for traditional RAID implementations will become a larger issue as drive capacities continue to grow and organizations keep adding spindles to their environments.

Shift in Traditional Backup Practices

Traditional backup practices will continue to shift.  Data centers will increasingly move to online, file-based archives for long-term data retention instead of utilizing offline backups in proprietary formats.