Editorial: Storage gets cloudy

We've run a number of feature-length articles, and dozens of news stories, about cloud-based storage. But how interested are you in this technology? We recently posed that question to infostor.com visitors.

12% of the site visitors said that they had already implemented some level of cloud-based storage (internal or external).

4% plan to implement the technology/service within the next 6 months; 8% in 6 to 12 months; and 25% in 12 to 18 months. And almost half (49%) have no plans for cloud-based storage.

Clouding this issue is the same problem that plagues any new technology: What is it? Clearly, it means different things to different people. Some users equate cloud storage with good old online backup and recovery, which obviously isn't new, while others have a much more complex view of the concept that is tightly linked to the more general cloud computing, which encompasses virtually all IT areas.

If you're among those users considering cloud-based storage, we have two feature articles on the subject in this issue: "Replication and cloud computing are inseparable" (p. 26) and "Use cases make the case for cloud storage" (p. 28), both from the Taneja Group research and consulting firm.

SAS on a roll

In researching another article in this issue, "Market prepped for 6Gbps SAS," I checked in with IDC to get the latest projections on disk drive shipments and was very surprised to see how rapidly SAS is taking over the market.

For example, IDC expects SAS drives to account for 50% of all enterprise-level drive shipments this year, vs. 31% for SATA and 19% for Fibre Channel. And by 2012, IDC analyst John Rydning expects SAS to account for almost three-fourths (74%) of drive shipments, with Fibre Channel down to only 1% (see pie charts on p. 22).

We also have some interesting stats on virtual tape libraries in our Special Report this month (see "Enterprises see increased adoption of VTLs" on p. 12).

According to an end-user survey conducted by TheInfoPro research firm, 44% of Fortune 1000 companies have already deployed VTLs and another 18% plan to do so within the next nine months. The remaining 37% have no plans for VTLs.

The picture is somewhat different at medium-size companies, where only 18% have implemented VTLs and 19% plan to purchase them within the next nine months. Among these companies, 62% have no plans for VTLs, according to the TIP survey.

Dave Simpson

This article was originally published on June 01, 2009