Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 10 storage investment priorities for 2010

Here's a set of predictions sent by Hitachi Data Systems. Merry X'mas and a very Happy New Year to everyone.

BANGALORE, INDIA: Hitachi Data Systems Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) and the only provider of Services Oriented Storage Solutions, today announced the top storage investment priorities for IT professionals in 2010.

“Data centre virtualization, cloud storage and data security continue to be top priorities in India as companies seek to drive competitive advantage. At Hitachi Data Systems, we believe that our role is to help our customers build cost-effective and sustainable storage solutions that help them build the business now, yet scale up and out to meet future challenges,” said Vivekanand Venugopal, Vice President and General Manager, India, Hitachi Data Systems.

Storage investment priorities in 2010

Data Center Virtualization: Virtualization is a critical enabler of the dynamic data center of tomorrow. In 2009, we saw a trend towards lower cost modular storage that scaled out, through switch technologies like Ethernet or RapidIO. The shortcoming of scale-out modular storage is the inability to scale up.

In 2010, we expect to see demand for storage systems that both have the ability to scale-up as well as scale-out depending on performance and capacity requirements. This will help companies meet the increasing demands of faster networks, processors, and virtual operating systems such as VMware and Hyper V.

Cloud Storage: Cloud computing is often used as a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud storage serves to mask the complexity of IT infrastructure and enables access to storage capacity as “a pay as you grow” service.

The cloud will continue to grow in awareness into 2010 with a continued focus by private cloud builders and public cloud service providers on elasticity, reliability, multi-tenancy and security. We expect an increasing adoption of cloud storage as advancements are made on key capabilities such as security, multi-tenancy, and payment models.

Security: IT managers must strike a balance between mitigating security risks and delivering the best infrastructures in terms of throughput, availability, scalability, cost and complexity.

Each organization must make its own trade-off decisions based on its unique situation and the importance of its data. In 2010, IT managers planning storage investments or use of third party services will need to take into account key priorities like data confidentiality, privacy, sanitization/eradication and security.

Automated Tiered Storage: Many IT organizations are moving towards tiered storage management automation that is policy-based to achieve economic efficiency while maintaining service level objectives for the business. Combining automated tiered storage management with storage virtualization and dynamic, thin provisioning will provide the greatest reduction in capital and operational costs.

Greater Adoption of Dynamic (thin) Provisioning: The single greatest tool for reducing operational costs is dynamic (thin) provisioning.

Thin provisioning can: eliminate the waste of allocated unused space; reduce the cost of moving and copying fat volumes by eliminating unused space; reclaim up to 40 percent or more capacity from existing fat volumes; reduce the provisioning of storage from hours to minutes; facilitate wide striping to increase performance by spreading the I/O across more disk spindles. Given all of these advantages, we expect dynamic (thin) provisioning technology to be a top investment priority for customers.

Sustainable IT: 2010 will see greater rationalization of green IT projects. IT managers face internal competition for limited investment available, and will find that green IT projects are gaining more support from corporate programs. There will also be a new role within IT organizations – the Sustainable IT manager – responsible for identifying and managing Green IT programs.

Continued Growth for Content Archive Platforms: IDC estimates that content data will be the fastest growth area of data with a compounded annual growth rate of 121 percent. Since this is the fastest growing type of data, a content platform must be able to scale to tens of Petabytes and be able to support multiple data formats, and we expect to see growing demand for Content Archive Platforms that meet these requirements.

Managed Services: In today’s IT organizations, provisioning for new apps or SAN performance reporting are now being managed through remote managed services. As this demand grows, expect new service offerings to be adopted as an efficient and cost effective alternative for fully managed, 24/7 real time storage expertise where resource skill sets gap or head count constraints exist. Utilizing services also eliminates the need to pull experienced staff away from revenue generating projects for critical, yet administrative tasks.

Improved Performance with Flash-based Drives or SSDs: While flash-based drives are considered cost-prohibitive compared to traditional hard disk drives, they do offer advantages in performance – specifically very low latency and very fast I/Os -- and have the added advantage of superior energy efficiency.

We expect to see more flash-based technologies integrated into solutions portfolios as customer awareness and potential demand grows, but adopters should look for the added security of data encryption capabilities at the SSD drive level before moving forward.

Ethernet Convergence in the Data Center (FCOE/DCIB): We expect to see adoption on the storage side of the switch pick up as additional industry standards are formed to enable multi-pathing and network decongestion. There is also a huge investment in Fibre Chanel (FC) infrastructure which will be transitioning to 8 Gbps FC. Since transition to 8 Gbps FC is less disruptive than the transition to 10 Gbps FCoE, we expect the adoption of FCoE for storage may take longer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One year on since winning the world title!

Today, it is exactly a year since my blog and I won’s World Title for the Best Blog in the Electronics Hardware category in Dec. 2008! Alun Williams from recently told me: “There is no EW blog awards this year, by the way. We’ll do it bi-annually, so you get to keep your crown for another year!” Thanks to Alun and

Thanks for all of your kind support, dear readers, friends and well wishers, who have cared to stop by my blog now and then. Some of you also leave comments from time to time. I personally don’t know most of you who leave comments, but many thanks to all of you for doing so. Hope that you continue to find my blog and my work useful.

If there’s something missing in my blog, do understand that I have several constraints, and also do not have access to lot of companies, regions, shows, etc., as I’m merely a blogger. Nor am I part of any large media house! Nor am I any authority on semiconductors, solar or telecom, and so on and so forth!

If, at any stage, I am forced to stop writing, or otherwise, this blog belongs to all of you!

Have a merry X’mas and a very Happy New Year, lest I forget to wish everyone. Best wishes and good night!