Top Storage Trends for 2014

Many interesting things we have already posted but there are new ones.

2013 was not a great year for the global storage industry. About all the storage giants record lower revenue for their external disk subsystems and the global market was decreasing for the first time since many years. The petabytes installed continue to increase at a fast speed but this trend is not compensated by the decreasing price/GB of the solutions. It's a little better for software, a growing market, but at a slower speed. It's much better for backup appliances, according to IDC. Despite this slowness, start-ups continue to be created in storage, no less than 57 the past three years.

2014 will be the first big year for all-SSD systems with the arrival of EMC, joined by about all thestorage giants and many start-ups that were the firsts to enter into this market, some of them being already acquired (Whiptail by Cisco, XtremIO by EMC) or becoming public, and other ones with sometimes remarkable products. New companies will enter into this already crowded field but there will be some consolidation as there is already 34 firms in the world offering this kind of all-flash units for critical applications. But manufacturers will have to push technology to give the possibility to integrate these extremely fast devices to their current traditional NAS and SAN. Hybrid (SSDs+HDDs) with tiering will continue to be acquired by a choice for customers needing higher capacity configuration.

Of course, storage software and hardware for virtualization environments will continue to be an excellent business and some companies in this field, like Veeam Software, are exploding.

NAS devices will play a large role in the 2014 storage landscape, especially small NAS for private backup outside the company rather than public cloud. Add to that that some firms like Synology or Thecus are giving for free a huge bunch of software, unfortunately not easy at all to use. Documentation represents hundred of pages and you have to be a network expert to understand some sentences. There is lot lot of improvement needed here.

All the form of data reduction have a great future, thin provisioning, compression and mainly de-dupe, adopted by a lot of vendors, and going to new places: for primary storage and of course all-SSD systems, and also NAS, backup and cloud storage to reduce the network bandwidth. But all de-dupe algorithms for calculations are proprietary.

Globally the market of HDDs will probably stabilize and eventually decrease in number of units soldas SSDs are replacing them in low end storage devices (subnotebooks and notebooks) and in the high end for mission-critical applications. All the specs of SSDs are in favor of HDDs, but two, price and capacity. The gap in term of price is narrowing in favor of SSDs, more accessible. Furthermore, most recent SSDs reach capacity of terabytes and approaching HDDs, the result of economics of scale in flash chip manufacturing. The magnetic devices are also affected by the move of users to cloud storage rather than an external disk drive for backup, but globally, the capacity not acquired by consumers is sold by HDD makers to their cloud provider.

Concerning interfaces, the battle for PC in now between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt with faster speed, with USB 2.0 and Firewire progressively disappearing.

PCIe is also going to be more and more adopted, rather than SAS, for enterprise SSDs, with the help of the NVM Express working group. 16Gb FC is replacing 8Gb FC, as the same trend appeared some years ago with 8Gb FC becoming a substitute of 4Gb FC, but globally this interface continues to decline. 56Gb/s IB - in competition with 10GbE whose price is drastically decreasing, and 40GbE - will continue to remain the deluxe interface particularly appreciated for HPC, with not enough competition, Mellanox and Intel (following acquisition of QLogic assets) being the last ones in IB.

Tape is having its last spot. LTO continues to be there, notably in video applications with large files with the use of LTFS. Same applications also use optical discs. It's clear that tape and optical do not have a great future globally.

Another use of cloud backup is data recovery for cheaper storage outside the enterprises. More and more organizations are moving to hybrid cloud, with backuped locally and externally as they don't trust entirely outside storage.

Author: Anonymous

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