The growing importance of storage

The continued growth of data puts extreme pressure on storage administrators to effectively and efficiently manage the additional capacity. It also puts pressure on budgets as the amount of storage grows and consumes more of an IT budget.  And as cloud deployments become more pervasive, storage will certainly become a critical component.

In an interview with Networks Asia, Brian F. Sherman; IBM Distinguished Engineer – Storage Advanced Technical Skills (ATS), IBM Growth Markets & Americas, discusses the key factors shaping storage trends and reveals new breakthroughs in storage research.

NWA: How is storage a critical component in data management, cloud or analytics?

Sherman: Storage is critical to data management due to the continued growth rates, with typical averages I observe in the 40%-60% range. This puts extreme pressure on storage administrators to effectively and efficiently manage the additional capacity. It also puts pressure on budgets as the amount of storage grows and consumes more of an IT budget. This includes not only acquisition of capacity but also infrastructure requirements that span networks, power, floorspace and cooling.

Over the last two years, there have been numerous high profile cloud disruptions caused by the lack of storage resiliency. Storage is certainly a critical component as cloud deployments become more pervasive. Whether it’s a Public, Private or Hybrid cloud solutions, availability, disaster recovery, scalability, quality of service and simplified provisioning are all aspects that still must be examined and deployed in order to meet client requirements.

Businesses through the years have realized the wealth of information they have contained in the raw data stored within the organization. How do they mine or analyze the data to achieve a business advantage is the key. Whether it’s keeping stores stocked at the right time with the right content for a particular area or predicting traffic flow congestion and providing alternate routes, data itself is of critical importance. Leveraging the information contained in the data can certainly provide significant business advantages.

 What are some of the key drivers of Storage trends/challenges you see emerging globally and across the region?

Clients continue to deal with the tremendous growth rates and managing the storage environment effectively and efficiently continues to be a key challenge. Utilizing new or different storage management capabilities to drive better storage efficiency must be adopted. The main trends being provided today cover real-time compression, thin provisioning, automated storage tiering, storage virtualization and deduplication. With storage utilization rates still below 50%, each of these capabilities provides the ability to improve utilization and drive much efficiency in storing the massive amounts of data being generated.

 Outline 3 top storage trends that will emerge in 2013

Looking at trends from a tactical perspective, I see the following as key trends in helping our clients manage their environments more efficiently in 2013: storage virtualization; automated storage tiering; and real-time data compression.

From a higher level storage technology trend view, cloud, big data and fast analytics, encryption of data at rest and Flash/NAND based memory will continue to evolve and drive storage in 2013.