With the constant stream of new product announcements hitting the press, tracking the ebb and flow of storage technologies can be irksome to say the least.
We asked IDC program director Asia-Pacific storage research, Simon Piff, to give us his view on what the top three storage technologies are going to be over the next 12 months. First off the rack is solid-state disk (SSD).
“Solid-state disk is creeping into a number of areas in enterprise storage across the region, primarily within the larger organisations that are testing them,” he said. “It’s not in the mainstream as yet, and it is still hotly debated how relevant it will be. There is a lot of interest in their stability and longevity; these points mostly perceived to be their negative aspects.
“With a number of vendors embedding them already within servers for cache facility and a few offering them within enterprise storage chassis, they are still ‘prechasm’ technologies – taking from Moore’s Crossing the Chasm concept – and the next 12 months will be a critical time for SSD.”
The second technology is more of a concept than one particular development: Cloud computing.
“Depending upon your definition, cloud storage has a great deal of potential,” Piff claimed. “There are a number of offerings already in play – Mozy, HP Upline, Amazon, etcetera. And all so far have had a share of negative press in the past 12 months; availability being the main issue and a critical issue if you need to restore data.
“But as these technical issues are ironed out, it would seem that online storage offerings will have a stronger play in the future. A large part of this will be driven by the new generation of IT professionals who have grown up being used to using the online social sites for sharing and storing information online.”
However, there are some legal issues to consider and the service level agreements (SLAs) in place will mean cloud storage will not likely be used for any truly critical backup. But with some companies offering a wide array of cloud services, storage in the cloud is a logical next step and potentially at a price point that simple makes it too compelling to ignore, the analyst explained.
Last, but not least, Piff claimed iSCSI is probably the most interesting of the newer technologies because of its “incredible adoption within the markets”.
“Growth of iSCSI SAN has been tremendous, largely driven by the adoption of the technology by SMBs and use within virtualised server environments,” he said. “The really interesting aspect to iSCSI will be seen when Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) becomes available.
“Since a large part of iSCSI adoption has been due to the ease of implementation within the IP environment, there is no need to take on the challenges and costs of implementing a Fibre Channel SAN. FCoE will essentially negate much of the challenges inherent – although not necessarily the costs – and with both Brocade and Cisco sounding very bullish on this technology it will be interesting to see if iSCSI will continue its rapid adoption.”