Top Tech Trends for 2012 --2: Storage

Dec28 2011: The challenge for IT professionals is to tackle these pressures with limited budgets, that make acquisition and rollout of new infrastructure difficult. To offer some guidance, Hu Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer of Hitachi Data Systems recently announced his top ten storage trends for 2012:

1. Storage efficiency: Global economic uncertainty will require IT professionals to achieve better returns from their existing assets rather than buying new assets. There will be a greater focus on storage efficiency technologies such as storage virtualization, dynamic or thin provisioning, dynamic tiering, and archiving

2. Consolidation to convergence: Consolidation will give way to convergence. Over the past few years IT has focused on consolidation and much of the low-hanging fruit has now been consolidated. In order to gain further cost savings, the focus will be on convergence of server, storage, networks, and applications. Application programming interfaces(APIs), which offload workload to storage, can make the servers and memory more efficient. Orchestration software will help to converge the management and automate the provisioning, and reporting across local, remote, and cloud based server, storage, and network infrastructures.

3. Transparency: Applications and infrastructure will be more transparent with each other in order to facilitate convergence through open interfaces like APIs, client/providers, and plug ins. Hitachi Data Systems provides Hitachi Command Director software, which gives applications a view into the service level, utilization, and health of the storage infrastructure behind the virtual storage that they are using.

4. Storage computerization: Storage systems will need to become storage computers as more functions are being driven down into them. Old storage architectures with general purpose controllers which service all these new functions along with the normal I/O workload will not be able to scale. New storage architectures with separate pools of processors will be required to handle these additional functions.

5. Big Data: The big hype for 2012 will continue to be around “Big Data”. The explosion of unstructured data and mobile applications will generate a huge opportunity for the creation of business value, competitive advantage, and decision support if this data can be managed and accessed efficiently. The massive size of Big Data sets will make it impractical to replicate, back up, and mine through traditional means. Big Data will be more about the information that can be derived from the intersections of many data sets or objects. In 2012, there will be greater adoption of content platforms in preparation for Big Data analytics.

6. Energy efficiency: Power, cooling and carbon foot print will become even more critical as energy demand increases and countries begin to impose carbon taxes. IT will be asked to shoulder their share of the energy burden.

7. Ergonomic services: The consumption gap between technology and IT operations will be an area of focus as businesses drive IT to implement technologies at a faster pace in order to realize the benefits that are already available with current technology. There will be a greater need for services to offload over-committed IT staff and accelerate the adoption of new technologies

8. Storage scaling: Server and desktop virtualization will increase the need for enterprises to scale up storage systems, non-disruptively as physical server demands increase. Modular storage systems will need to be replaced by enterprise storage to service the tier 1 demands of virtual servers. Scale-out storage architectures will not be able to meet the scale-up demands of server and desktop virtualization.

9. Virtualized migration: Disruptive device migrations will be replaced by new virtualization capabilities that will eliminate the need to reboot.

10. Cloud acquisition: Cloud acquisition, based on self-service, pay per use, and on demand will begin to replace the current3-to-5 year acquisition cycle of products, as convergence begins to create blended pools of resources.

Yoshida publishes his forecasts and insights on key trends at the beginning of every year. His annual predictions have earned widespread respect in the industry. Link to his blog:  

Link for free e-book Storage Virtualization for Dummies: