Enterprises Clamor for Automated Storage Tiering, Private Clouds

Posted on October 02, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez

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Enterprise storage capacity is more than doubling every two years, a rate that's outpacing Moore's Law, according to new research from TheInfoPro, a unit of 451 Research.

According to the firm's semiannual Storage Study, midsized and large enterprises are flocking to technologies that lessen the storage management burden for IT departments, making "automated tiering the hottest storage technology in 2013," stated TheInfoPro. The insights were gleaned from a polling of 260 storage professionals during the first half of 2013.

TheInfoPro vice president Marco Coulter observed that there "are two major forces working on storage today," in a statement. The culprits are two of the storage industry's most buzzed-about trends, namely "solid-state transforming storage architectures in datacenters, and software-defined storage transforming provisioning and capacity choices," he added.

As ever, the cloud and its increasingly popular IT delivery model hangs over business technologists. "As enterprises move from solution designers to service brokers, the conversations with business partners are evolving from bits and bytes to services and APIs," noted Coulter.

In terms of solid-state drives (SSDs) and other flash-based storage solutions, businesses are more likely to use them in concert with their disk-based architectures than outright replace their spinning platters.

TheInfoPro reported that hybrid arrays -- typically a mix of SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs) -- are currently in use by 37 percent of respondents. All-flash arrays trail with just 6 percent showing support. The study also indicates that the industry's focus on IOPS is lost on a slim majority of organizations. "Architecting for performance is often reactive, as 48% of large and midsize enterprises have no specific IOPS targets for applications," stated the company.

Fibre Channel is the storage network connectivity to beat, according to the study. InfiniBand is present in just 12 percent of the storage setups of those surveyed and FCoE is viewed as an 'edge' solution.

Public cloud storage providers face an uphill battle luring enterprise data onto their clouds, suggests TheInfoPro.

Following automated tiering, organizations are most likely to add on-premise cloud storage to their storage budgets.

Citing a cautious attitude toward external cloud storage among enterprises, the research group noted that corporate IT's reticence toward public clouds is an opportunity for companies like EMC, HDS, Dell and other data storage technology providers. "The increased demand for internal cloud storage solutions helps storage vendors as they seek to compete with Amazon S3," stated the firm.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Originally published on .

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