System News
A Top 10 List of Emerging Storage Technologies
Sun Strategist Investigates the Latest Trends
December 3, 2007,
Volume 118, Issue 1

looking at the new technology trends that have (or will) impact our industry

-- Taylor Allis
 

Sun Market Strategy & Intelligence professional Taylor Allis listed the top 10 emerging technologies in the storage arena recently identified by his team as an end of the year assignment.

"...Sun, like every other vendor I assume, is looking at the new technology trends that have (or will) impact our industry," Allis writes. "My team and I were asked to evaluate some – to see where to prioritize future investments, evaluate current and future competitive threats, etc. Ensuring we stay ahead of the technology game. So below is our very own top 10 list of emerging technologies."

1. Open Storage Platform (aka general purpose storage, open source storage)

"Open" is a relatively new concept for storage. There are generally three components that make up an Open Storage Platform: general purpose components, OS/file system storage services, and open source storage software. The Sun Fire x4500 is built upon Sun's Open Storage Platform.

2. Virtualization

The benefits are obvious – massive savings through optimization, consolidation and optimization. There are server virtualization, file virtualization (a.k.a clustering, global namespace, unified namespace, NAS virtualization), virtual tape, and virtual disk (aka storage virtualization - Sun StorageTek 9000 arrays).

3. Thin Provisioning

Allows admins to allocate or provision space to specific applications, making full use of their system’s capacity. "Sun announced Thin Provisioning on its StorageTek 9990V system in May – meaning consumers can have the world’s fastest enterprise array, Virtual Disk AND Thin Provisioning all on one platform."

4. Data Deduplication (aka De-dup, Single-instance storage)

Two emerging de-dup architectures: “Inline” – where the de-dup magic happens in real-time, as data comes into the system; and “Post-Processing” – where the magic happens as a secondary process after the backup job. Sun sells both.

5. Data Encryption

The new trend is not how to encrypt, but where to encrypt. The Sun StorageTek T10000 tape drive has the encryption chip next to the compression chip on the drive so data is encrypted as it is fed onto the tape. Simple and affordable – no extra appliance needed. Sun also offers the StorageTek Crypto Key Management Station to centrally authorize, secure and manage encryption keys.

6. Eco Storage (aka Green Storage/IT)

The challenge for storage customers will be sorting through the vendors who make REAL Eco investments vs. the ones that just add “Eco” or “Green” to their marketing collateral. Sun’s in the “real” category, investing heavily in Eco IT.

7. Object Archive (aka CAS, Application Aware Archive)

The trend here is to “build a better mousetrap archive.” The challenge is this, an archive system must: store a lot of data affordably; have WORM functionality so documents show up un-altered in an audit or court of law; be easily and quickly accessible; and for more than 100 years…

8. New Interfaces, Protocols & Configurations

Allis identifies SAS, iSCSI, file virtualization, clustered RAID, JBOD, unified storage, and 10GbE with details on each.

9. Solid State Disk (aka SSD, Flash, Memory)

As SSD prices drop, expect to see hybrid disk drives and storage systems that leverage more SSD for greater speed and IOPS.

10. Storage as a Service

Storage as a service offered over the Internet has been talked about for years....Amazon has given Storage as a Service a power boost with its Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Also keep an eye on Sun’s Internet Service offerings over Network.com.

Allis is quick to note that these top 10 storage technology trends do not represent any commitment or position from Sun Corporate.

Readers interested in finding out more about these listed trends should visit Allis\' blog where much more extensive information is listed for each. "

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Other articles in the Storage section of Volume 118, Issue 1:

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