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Cloud, Virtualization, Storage I/O Trends for 2013 and Beyond

Common over-riding themes will continue to include convergence (people and technology), valueware, clouds

It is still early in 2013, so I can make some cloud, virtualization, storage and IO related predictions, or more aptly, talk about some trends, in addition to those that I made in late 2012, looking forward and back. Common over-riding themes will continue to include convergence (people and technology), valueware, clouds (public, private, hybrid and community) among others.

cloud virtualization storage I/O data center image

Certainly, solid state drives (SSDs) will remain popular, both in terms of industry adoption, and industry deployment. Big-data (and little data) management tools and purpose-build storage systems or solutions continue to be popular, as are those for supporting little data applications. On the cloud storage front, there are many options for various use cases available. Watch for more emphasis on service-level agreements (SLA), service-level objectives (SLO), security, pricing transparency, and tiers of service.

storage I/O rto rpo dcim image

Cloud and object storage will continue to gain in awareness, functionality, and options from various providers in terms of products, solutions, and services. There will be a mix of large-scale solutions and smaller ones, with a mix of open-source and proprietary pieces. Some of these will be for archiving, some for backup or data protection. Others will be for big-data, high-performance computing, or cloud on a local or wide area basis, while others for general file sharing.

Ceph object storage architecture example

Along with cloud and object storage, watch for more options about how those products or services can be accessed using traditional NAS (NFS, CIFS, HDFS and others) along with block, such as iSCSI object API's, including Amazon S3, REST, HTTP, JSON, XML, iOS and CDMI along with programmatic bindings.

Data protection modernization, including backup/restore, high-availability, business continuity, disaster recovery, archiving, and related technologies for cloud, virtual, and traditional environments will remain popular themes.

cloud and virtual data center image

Expect more Fibre Channel over Ethernet for networking with your servers and storage, PCIe Gen 3 to move data in and out of servers, and Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) as a means of attaching storage to servers or as the back-end storage for larger storage systems and appliances. For those who like to look out over the horizon, keep an eye and ear open for more discussion around PCI gen 3 deployment and gen 4 definitions, not to mention DDR4 and nand flash moving close to the processors.

With VMware buying Virsto, that should keep software defined marketing (SDM) and Storage hypervisors, storage virtualization, virtual storage, virtual storage arrays (VSA's) active topic themes. Lets also keep in mind for storage space capacity optimization Data footprint reduction (DFR) including archiving, backup and data protection modernization, compression, consolidation, dedupe and data management.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

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More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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