The Register: A year in storage. STILL not enough nails for the disk coffin lid

ATN-300InsightaaS: The Register is well-recognized as a news source that walks both sides of whatever line separates irreverence and incisiveness. Today’s featured post provides yet another example, while also adding intriguing perspective on how the storage market is evolving.

The post begins by listing seven key trends that have shaped storage market changes in 2014. Staff writer Chris Mellor then hops across the seven issues, looking briefly at cloud storage options before digging a little deeper into flash – which, Mellor says, “has hit performance drive arrays and disk drives hard.” While “looming capacity rises…could hammer more nails into the disk drive coffin lid,” the limited number of foundries means that “there aren’t enough nails” to finish off the spinning disk industry – and with the investment needed to ramp capacity estimated by Mellor as a “highly likely NOT to happen quickly” $100+ billion, it seems that disks themselves will still be a factor in the 2015 storage market.

Mellor closes the piece by pointing to instability in the supplier community and prospects for change, stating that “The storage industry is passing through a multi-faceted transition as startups, incumbents and customers wrestle with the effects of these seven forces affecting them.” This article lacks the depth needed to explain these changes, but it does a good job of outlining the landscape within which they’ll occur.

Beard Stroke Spending some of the festive season in San Francisco has given me a chance to look back at the wonderful world of storage and to ponder which may have been the biggest overall storage stories over the past twelve months or so.

Here’s what I think are the strongest contenders:

  • Splintering of SAN/NAS
  • Cloud storage in public and hybrid clouds
  • SSD capacity rise and foundry output limitations
  • Unstructured data increase and rise of object storage
  • Server SAN and hyperconverged systems
  • Incumbent restructuring
  • Rise of activist investors

The sharding of SAN and NAS technology was covered here and my thinking us that the sheer number and type of technologies proposing an alternative to legacy NAS and SAN arrays constitutes a secular change; having a central NAS/SAN no more, so to speak.

One alternative is the public cloud and virtually all legacy storage suppliers have either bridges to or abstraction layers for the public cloud. Amazon, Azure and Google are causing hybrid cloud havoc as incumbent vendors try to protect their customer data-centre installed base, and startups like Avere, Nasuni, Panzura and the acquired SteelStore, StorSimple, and TwinStrata provide on-ramps to the public cloud…

Read the entire post on The Register’s site: Link



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