The year ahead

The year ahead

ARN takes a look at some of the industry's top technology and trend predictions for 2008


The move towards mobility and the take-up of PDAs and flash drives is posing more security risks than users can poke a USB stick at. And these threats are not only coming from the outside but beginning to evolve within organisations.

Firewall Systems marketing director, Nick Verykios, said customers have begun asking resellers about their security policy and what could fulfil that.

"There will be an extension on security policies right to the fingers of the users with what ever device they have got in their hand. If it's got corporate or personal data, it's going to be locked down to that point," he said.

Symantec endpoint security solutions product manager Asia-Pacific, Robert Pregnell, said attackers would start to move onto new platforms as the uptake of mobile devices becomes more prominent.

"We will see attackers targeting new mobile platforms and in another way, virtual gaming worlds," he said. "Wherever there is a new platform, more people, money or information that the attacker can use for money, that's where we will see increased activity.

"People will become as mindful and protective of their information as they have been for many years with their money."

Calvert Technologies principal consultant, Dean Calvert, said password protection was slowly dropping off and suggested two-factor authentication securities could take centre stage in 2008.

"From a technology perspective, I think we will continue to see operating improvements in system security," he said. Dimension Data security general manager, Darren O'Loughlin, agreed encryption technology should play a bigger role for a lot of organisations. Meanwhile, WhiteGold Solutions managing director, Dominic Whitehand, saw vulnerability assessment and management, along with data leakage and secure applications acceleration, as strong growth areas. Secure storage and Wi-Fi were other significant and emerging issues to address, he said.

"There are massive amounts of information being sent, downloaded, duplicated and shared across the Internet," he said. "Those technologies that can assist in the transmission, storage and delivery of this information will be the real winners."

On the threat landscape front, Trend Micro premium services manager, Adam Biviano, predicted Web-based and Vista attacks would continue to evolve next year.

"Some websites that were once good will all of a sudden turn malicious," he said. "People are going to be using Vista for financial transactions, purchasing online or housing valuable information, which means Vista is always going to be a target. There is going to be similar types of threats occur on the Vista platform as there has been across earlier versions of Windows."


After experiencing strong growth this year, industry pundits claim we'll witness the development and implementation of current storage trends into next year. HP sees the lines between storage and server technology blurring, product marketing manager, Mark Nielsen, said. He also identified software as a key concern in the New Year.

"The reality is that customers are suffering with the explosion of growth in storage needs, and they are asking for software that will give them better control in management," he said.

Gartner storage analyst, Phil Sargeant, said deduplication and thin provisioning are going to be hot technologies for 2008 as organisations seek to improve storage efficiency. Related to that, archiving will be a big issue as it continues to mature in the open systems arena.

According to XSI Data Solutions CEO, Glenn Gray, one of the challenges for organisations is understanding what the right deduplication and storage virtualisation solutions are for their business. This was particularly vital as organisations consolidated.

Gray also claimed data tape as a storage medium would lose out as solid state disks and iSCSI solutions became further entrenched.

Sargeant said that with the take-up of SATA technology, large organisations and SMBs would adopt a tiered approach towards storage and archiving - disk to disk to tape.

"Like large organisations, SMBs are finding the amount of information they have is growing, and even tens of TBs are impractical to restore from tape, so they're essentially being forced to adopt tiered storage," he said. "Luckily the cost of a secondary disk is reducing."

Managing director at Dubbo-based reseller Axxis Technology, Mathew Dickerson, said SMBs were doubling their storage requirements every 12 months with the advent of scanning paperwork, electronic filing, email usage and archiving.

"This means clients who had never considered storage outside their server storage are looking at NAS and SAN devices as viable alternatives," he said.

With the growth in information, as well as increasing compliance and regulation needs, 2008 will see increasing pressure on organisations to re-examine infrastructure and management.

Managing director of storage distributor AustStor, Lachie MacDonald, predicted higher uptake of Ultra Density Optical technology in companies where reliable and compliant archiving was important such as government, financial, legal and medical sectors.

EMC national product manager, Clive Gold, said going green would continue to be at the forefront in 2008, with technology to slow down idle disc drives becoming popular.

Web 2.0 was another force that would change business storage demands, he said.

"It's an area people are looking towards at the moment. With sites such as Facebook and YouTube, the amount of data that is flowing is enormous, and as business intelligence takes on these features there's going to be a huge demand for bulk enterprise storage," Gold said.

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