As we get deeper into this new decade, it’s time to think about how our storage needs have evolved. According to Symantec, the data center is the heart of most organizations’ IT operations and the hub for the information that drives business today. Yet at the same time, organizations are grappling with explosive data growth, industry consolidation, as well as larger, more complex data centers with limited IT resources. Here are Symantec's top trends to watch for.
1. 2010 is the ‘Year of Deletion’—Next year, enterprise IT administrators will continue to struggle with the continuing growth of information, while budgets continue to lag. According to InfoPro, overall 2010 storage spending will improve over 2009, but many respondents are still expecting flat or even decreasing budgets. The last time storage technology kept up with information growth was 2002. In order to keep up, storage administrators will need to begin to lose their ‘pack rat’ mentality and start deleting information. The ‘delete’ mentality will lead to a shift from using backup as the long-term storage location. Backup will return to its intended use and recovery, whereas archiving will step in to manage the long-term retention and disposition of information.
2. 2010 Ends the Stockpiling of Backup Tapes for Long-Term Retention—Backup is the wrong application for information retention because it is organized around information islands (i.e., systems) rather than information itself. An active, deduplicated archive with automated retention and deletion dramatically reduces the cost and time of long-term information storage and retrieval. In 2010, the role of backup changes to focus on short-term recovery—fast, deduplicated backups and rapid, granular recovery with built-in replication to disaster-recovery sites.
3. Deduplication Everywhere—In 2010, deduplication will become widely deployed as a feature rather than a standalone technology. Seventy percent of enterprises still haen't deployed deduplication but will leverage easier deployments next year as it becomes built in to most storage offerings—everything from backup software to primary storage to replication and archiving software. As more enterprises reap the benefits of deduplication and the gap it bridges with information management, the primary concern will become management of storage resources. As a result, enterprises will look to vendors to deploy simplified and cross-platform deduplication management that save time and money.
4. Industry Competition Drives Standardized Software—Both industry consolidation and increasing industry competition will drive the need for heterogeneous standardized management software in 2010. For example, the Sun/Oracle merger, as well as their competition with IBM and Cisco in the integrated x86 mainframe market, will provide a variety of choices for enterprises. These options will continue to create a need for data-protection, storage, and high-availability technologies that eliminate information islands formed by mainframe-like vertical integration.
5. A Year of Migration—As organizations migrate to new Microsoft platforms over the next year, they'll need various storage-management and data-management technologies in place. Although upgrading isn't always a priority for IT organizations, given tight budgets and the resources needed to manage the process, newer versions can offer significant technological advancements and performance enhancements that can help organizations better meet their SLAs. As organizations migrate, they'll likely make technology improvements across the board to provide improved protection and management that will support all Microsoft applications in the most efficient way. However, it's important that organizations not treat these new applications in a silo manner and apply platform-level backup, deduplication, archiving, retention, and e-discovery solutions. A trusted platform can address both new and old applications in a centralized way.
6. Virtualization Moves Beyond x86—In 2010, more users will be able to benefit from virtualization as competition increases among providers. Not only will Hyper-V provide added functionality with Windows Server 2008 R2, IBM will likely have continued support with AIX. In 2010, it will be clear that users can leverage all flavors of virtualization—not just x86. As virtualization becomes even more widespread and prolific, users will need to implement strategies and technologies that help them to manage the entire IT infrastructure—whether physical or virtual—in a robust, yet simplified and user-friendly way.
7. Cloud Storage Catches On—As a growing number of enterprises look for ways to improve storage efficiency and reduce management complexity of their growing environments, they look to leverage storage-architecture designs already deployed by storage service and public cloud providers. Most will begin to recognize the combination of commodity hardware infrastructure and value-added software as the best approach to deliver storage to the business but will need to decide between public, private, or hybrid models. In evaluating their options, enterprise storage managers must consider the cost, scalability, availability, manageability, and performance of any solution that will serve as the foundation for file-based storage services.
8. Cloud Storage Drives Data Management—The continued move toward cloud storage over the next year will drive enterprise organizations to implement more effective data-management tools and strategies. While users can leverage cloud computing to ensure enhanced application performance and availability, there are also inherent risks that administrators will need to address to leverage this flexibility.
9. Organizations Can No Longer Procrastinate ‘Going Green’—In 2009, organizations began to shift from implementing ‘green’ technologies primarily for cost-reduction purposes, to a more balanced awareness of also improving the organization’s environmental standing. In 2010, these two drivers will push most enterprise organizations to implement a ‘green’ strategy. IT decision makers are increasingly justifying green IT solutions by more than cost and IT efficiency benefits. They're now looking to a number of factors such as reducing electricity consumption, cooling costs, and corporate pressure to be ‘green.’