The storage industry has evolved at a rate of knots over the past couple of years, and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon. Trends such as Big Data might be seen as massively overhyped, though they're beginning to find their way into the Middle Eastern market, and more tangible innovations such as the proliferation of flash storage are beginning to find acceptance. What will all this mean for CIOs in the coming year? CNME asks a panel of experts, and looks forward to the nine biggest storage trends of 2014.
1. Flash on the up
For starters, one of the biggest storage trends anticipated for 2014 will be a heavier uptake of flash storage. Up until now, the technology has been prohibitively expensive, though advancements in storage technology have brought the prices down.
Why choose flash over traditional, disk-based storage? The short answer is because of the performance increase that flash storage affords. "Flash drives are basically faster accessing devices when compared to traditional fibre channel drives and SATA drives. Flash drives are catching up because people want faster rate performances," says Shashikanth N., Sales Manager, StorIT Distribution. "This is a trend, which has been catching on across the globe including the Middle East."
Now that businesses have cottoned on to the benefits that flash storage can bring, vendors are selling more and more of it. This has brought prices down, says Shashikanth, who believes that the technology will become much more accessible during 2014.
"The biggest reason for this increase is that the cost of a flash drive was very high earlier. Since the volumes have started picking up, the prices have begun dropping down and so people are putting more and more data into flash drives," he says.
2. Rise of the software-defined data centre
"We will see the SDDC [software-defined data centre] become the standard in the next couple of years with more organizations reaping the benefits of this model," says Zaher Haydar, Senior Regional Manager, Systems Engineers, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East, EMC.
According to Haydar, EMC views the SDDC concept as the most popular storage concept of the moment. SDDCs involve virtualising the Abstract software intelligence and separating it from the hardware, which allows hardware technologies of different generations to co-exist with newer software. However, the benefits reach further than that, Haydar adds.
"In an SDDC where the hardware is standardised, the software adds pooling and automation capabilities, allowing enterprises to invest in fewer hardware refresh cycles and more software updates. This is why EMC is putting forward a lot of investment in the software-defined data centre together with its VMware and Pivotal sister companies to help enterprises achieve new efficiencies and achieve their IT transformation goals," he says.
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