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Information Unleashed

Top Storage Predictions for 2013

Created: 04 Dec 2012 • Updated: 04 Dec 2012
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By Dan Lamorena, Director, Product Marketing, Storage and Availability Management Group

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Kevin Haley posted the Top Five Security Predictions for 2013. Today we share with you the top storage predictions for 2013.

As we share them, we realize that we don’t have solutions that address all of the facets of these predictions, but it is what we see as major issues addressing the market in the coming year based on our experience and conversations with our customers and partners.

1. Hypervisor market share will dramatically change with greater diversity of virtualization solutions.

The market share of hypervisor vendors will begin to see major changes between the largest vendors, even though they won’t become equals in 2013. Organizations of all sizes will evaluate and adopt multiple hypervisors into their virtualization and computing environments as the virtualization market continues to grow exponentially.

This hypervisor diversity will cause specific hypervisor point tools to be ripped out and replaced by platforms with more capabilities that support multiple hypervisors, physical, virtual, snapshot and cloud based infrastructures for backup, recovery and management. This will lead to more SMBs becoming 100 percent virtualized and using multiple hypervisors in both testing and production environments.

The result will be better disaster preparedness. Virtualization and cloud computing work hand-in-hand to improve disaster preparedness, with the ability to have off-site storage and physical machines quickly available in a virtual environment if a disaster were to occur. Symantec research shows that the adoption of server virtualization improves disaster preparedness.

2. Industry adopts flash storage, begins to replace tier one storage

We believe there will be a significant increase in solid state/flash storage adoption in 2013 to the point that flash storage will be trialed at nearly every Fortune 1000 enterprise within the year. Flash storage, with its fast accessibility and reliability will begin to replace tier one storage in many data centers. These data centers will also look for new ways to maximize storage utilization on solid state storage to reduce costs of implementing flash storage, which will continue to decline.

3. Software defined data center becomes the new buzzword

Software defined data centers will take on cloud computing to become the new industry buzz word. Most large enterprise data centers will evolve to software-defined data centers where IT services are separated and not dependent on the underlying hardware. Commodity hardware, appliances and cloud will become increasing reliant on smart software that will define and drive the future of data center computing.

Data centers using commodity hardware will allow customers to build and effectively utilize hybrid cloud environments for their storage, disaster recovery and application management. As such, software defined storage will have significant impact on cloud, appliances and SSDs/Flash storage implementations.  Software that is policy-based and treats storage resources agnostically will increase in order for data centers to become more adaptive. The break-down of silos across infrastructure will require better integrated security and high-availability capabilities.

4. The target deduplication appliance market will be disrupted & replaced by integrated backup appliances

In 2013, deduplication at the storage target will increasingly be replaced by deduplication closer to the source. As deduplication becomes a mainstream feature, purpose-built deduplication appliances will be replaced with integrated backup appliances that combine source and target deduplication, backup software, replication, snapshots, security and cloud integration in a single appliance and managed from a central location.

Deduplication technology will become more integrated into a range of solutions offering not just storage reduction, but broader infrastructure savings as well. Vendors will begin to integrate it into just about every management, backup, and cloud solution on the market. This will not only shorten the backup window, but increase the adoption of integrated backup appliances. 

5. Big Data investments stay small but risks increase dramatically

Big Data projects will increase dramatically, but the monetary investments by brand name vendors will stay small. New high price infrastructures will be prohibitive so organizations will turn to more targeted do-it-yourself, project-based investments using open source Hadoop. 

The adoption of Hadoop will increase and project-based investments for big data will grow. Due to the lack of data management capabilities and built-in resilience, current big data solutions have severe limitations. Hadoop is popular due to its analytical power of and use of commodity hardware, but it comes with cost and risk. Hadoop also has some availability issues, requires additional administrative overhead, and requires triple the amount of storage as other data. This adds to long-term costs and increases server and storage sprawl in the data center.

In addition, the risks associated with Big Data will significantly increase, especially when it is inefficiently stored and managed. New information governance best practices will arise to help keep data sets from getting too large and burdensome while ensuring data is accessible, protected, and properly retained.

6. Cloud outages become more prevalent even though cloud is increasingly used to protect information

There will be a significant increase in cloud outages in 2013, resulting in millions of dollars lost. Companies will continue to put resources behind cloud offerings as these outages will have a more significant impact than ever before. Infrastructures that have scaled quickly with hand-written code and that utilize inefficient shared resources will result in major outages and some black eyes for the cloud computing market. The need to manage and protect data put in the cloud will lead to more adoption of backup and disaster recovery appliances and cloud service providers will begin to innovate more secure and efficient recovery of data and applications.

With the rest of industry we see cloud adoption continuing at an unprecedented rate. However, Companies of all sizes will need to adopt better cloud management tools to protect their data because cloud outage problems will get worse before they get better.

7. Defensible deletion and predictive coding become information governance mainstays

Defensible deletion will emerge as the central approach to overcoming the costs and legal risks associated with managing out of control data proliferation. At the same time, predictive coding will become mainstream and overturn traditional thinking that manual, linear document review is the gold standard and meets legal hold requirement.

We believe 2013 promises to be an exciting year. Let us know what you think of these storage predictions or if you would add others.