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2010 and 2011 Trends, Perspectives and Predictions: More of the same?

2011 is not a typo, I figured that since Im getting caught up on some things, why not get a jump as well

2011 is not a typo, I figured that since Im getting caught up on some things, why not get a jump as well.

Since 2009 went by so fast, and that Im finally getting around to doing an obligatory 2010 predictions post, lets take a look at both 2010 and 2011.

Actually Im getting around to doing a post here having already done interviews and articles for others soon to be released.

Based on prior trends and looking at forecasts, a simple predictions is that some of the items for 2010 will apply for 2011 as well given some of this years items may have been predicted by some in 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 or, well ok, you get the picture. :)

Via e-tarocchi.com
Image via: http://e-tarocchi.com

Predictions are fun and funny in that for some, they are taken very seriously, while for others, at best they are taken with a grain of salt depending on where you sit. This applies both for the reader as well as who is making the predictions along with various motives or incentives.

Via ideachampions.comVia joysoria.files.wordpress.com
Some are serious, some not so much...

For some, predictions are a great way of touting or promoting favorite wares (hard, soft or services) or getting yet another plug (YAP is a TLA BTW) in to meet coverage or exposure quota.

Meanwhile for others, predictions are a chance to brush up on new terms for the upcoming season of buzzword bingo games (did you pick up on YAP).

In honor of the Vancouver winter games, Im expecting some cool Olympic sized buzzword bingo games with a new slippery fast one being federation. Some buzzwords will take a break in 2010 as well as 2011 having been worked pretty hard the past few years, while others that have been on break, will reappear well rested, rejuvenated, and ready for duty.

Lets also clarify something regarding predictions and this is that they can be from at least two different perspectives. One view is that from a trend of what will be talked about or discussed in the industry. The other is in terms of what will actually be bought, deployed and used.

What can be confusing is sometimes the two perspectives are intermixed or assumed to be one and the same and for 2010 I see that trend continuing. In other words, there is adoption in terms of customers asking and investigating technologies vs. deployment where they are buying, installing and using those technologies in primary situations.

It is safe to say that there is still no such thing as an information, data or processing recession. Ok, surprise surprise; my dogs could have probably made that prediction during a nap. However what this means is more data will need to be moved, processed and stored for longer periods of time and at a lower cost without degrading performance or availability.

This means, denser technologies that enable a lower per unit cost of service without negatively impacting performance, availability, capacity or energy efficiency will be needed. In other words, watch for an expanded virtualization discussion around life beyond consolidation for servers, storage, desktops and networks with a theme around productivity and virtualization for agility and management enablement.

Certainly there will be continued merger and acquisitions on both a small as well as large scale ranging from liquidation sales or bargain hunting, to large and a mega block buster or two. Im thinking in terms of outside of the box, the type that will have people wondering perhaps confused as to why such a deal would be done until the whole picture is reveled and thought out.

In other words, outside of perhaps IBM, HP, Oracle, Intel or Microsoft among a few others, no vendor is too large not to be acquired, merged with, or even involved in a reverse merger. Im also thinking in terms of vendors filling in niche areas as well as building out their larger portfolio and IT stacks for integrated solutions.

Ok, lets take a look at some easy ones, lay ups or slam dunks:

  • More cluster, cloud conversations and confusion (public vs. private, service vs. product vs. architecture)
  • More server, desktop, IO and storage consolidation (excuse me, server virtualization)
  • Data footprint impact reduction ranging from deletion to archive to compress to dedupe among others
  • SSD and in particular flash continues to evolve with more conversations around PCM
  • Growing awareness of social media as yet another tool for customer relations management (CRM)
  • Security, data loss/leap prevention, digital forensics, PCI (payment card industry) and compliance
  • Focus expands from gaming/digital surveillance /security and energy to healthcare
  • Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) mainstream in discussions with some initial deployments
  • Continued confusion of Green IT and carbon reduction vs. economic and productivity (Green Gap)
  • No such thing as an information, data or processing recession, granted budgets are strained
  • Server, Storage or Systems Resource Analysis (SRA) with event correlation
  • SRA tools that provide and enable automation along with situational awareness

The green gap of confusion will continue with carbon or environment centric stories and messages continue to second back stage while people realize the other dimension of green being productivity.

As previously mentioned, virtualization of servers and storage continues to be popular with an expanding focus from just consolidation to one around agility, flexibility and enabling production, high performance or for other systems that do not lend themselves to consolidation to be virtualized.

6GB SAS interfaces as well as more SAS disk drives continue to gain popularity. I have said in the past there was a long shot that 8GFC disk drives might appear. We might very well see those in higher end systems while SAS drives continue to pick up the high performance spinning disk role in mid range systems.

Granted some types of disk drives will give way over time to others, for example high performance 3.5 15.5K Fibre Channel disks will give way to 2.5 15.5K SAS boosting densities, energy efficiency while maintaining performance. SSD will help to offload hot spots as they have in the past enabling disks to be more effectively used in their applicable roles or tiers with a net result of enhanced optimization, productivity and economics all of which have environmental benefits (e.g. the other Green IT closing the Green Gap).

What I dont see occurring, or at least in 2010

  • An information or data recession requiring less server, storage, I/O networking or software resources
  • OSD (object based disk storage without a gateway) at least in the context of T10
  • Mainframes, magnetic tape, disk drives, PCs, or Windows going away (at least physically)
  • Cisco cracking top 3, no wait, top 5, no make that top 10 server vendor ranking
  • More respect for growing and diverse SOHO market space
  • iSCSI taking over for all I/O connectivity, however I do see iSCSI expand its footprint
  • FCoE and flash based SSD reaching tipping point in terms of actual customer deployments
  • Large increases in IT Budgets and subsequent wild spending rivaling the dot com era
  • Backup, security, data loss prevention (DLP), data availability or protection issues going away
  • Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings winning the super bowl

What will be predicted at end of 2010 for 2011 (some of these will be DejaVU)

  • Many items that were predicted this year, last year, the year before that and so on
  • Dedupe moving into primary and online active storage, rekindling of dedupe debates
  • Demise of cloud in terms of hype and confusion being replaced by federation
  • Clustered, grid, bulk and other forms of scale out storage grow in adoption
  • Disk, Tape, RAID, Mainframe, Fibre Channel, PCs, Windows being declared dead (again)
  • 2011 will be the year of Holographic storage and T10 OSD (an annual prediction by some)
  • FCoE kicks into broad and mainstream deployment adoption reaching tipping point
  • 16Gb (16GFC) Fibre Channel gets more attention stirring FCoE vs. FC vs. iSCSI debates
  • 100GbE gets more attention along with 4G adoption in order to move more data
  • Demise of iSCSI at the hands of SAS at low end, FCoE at high end and NAS from all angles

Gaining ground in 2010 however not yet in full stride (at least from customer deployment)

  • On the connectivity front, iSCSI, 6Gb SAS, 8Gb Fibre Channel, FCoE and 100GbE
  • SSD/flash based storage everywhere, however continued expansion
  • Dedupe everywhere including primary storage its still far from its full potential
  • Public and private clouds along with pNFS as well as scale out or clustered storage
  • Policy based automated storage tiering and transparent data movement or migration
  • Microsoft HyperV and Oracle based server virtualization technologies
  • Open source based technologies along with heterogeneous encryption
  • Virtualization life beyond consolidation addressing agility, flexibility and ease of management
  • Desktop virtualization using Citrix, Microsoft and VMware along with Microsoft Windows 7

Buzzword bingo hot topics and themes (in no particular order) include:

  • 2009 and previous year carry over items including cloud, iSCSI, HyperV, Dedupe, open source
  • Federation takes over some of the work of cloud, virtualization, clusters and grids
  • E2E, End to End management preferably across different technologies
  • SAS, Serial Attached SCSI for server to storage systems and as disk to storage interface
  • SRA, E23, Event correlation and other situational awareness related IRM tools
  • Virtualization, Life beyond consolidation enabling agility, flexibility for desktop, server and storage
  • Green IT, Transitions from carbon focus to economic with efficiency enabling productivity
  • FCoE, Continues to evolve and mature with more deployments however still not at tipping point
  • SSD, Flash based mediums continue to evolve however tipping point is still over the horizon
  • IOV, I/O Virtualization for both virtual and non virtual servers
  • Other new or recycled buzzword bingo candidates include PCoIP, 4G,

RAID will again be pronounced as being dead no longer relevant yet being found in more diverse deployments from consumer to the enterprise. In other words, RAID may be boring and thus no longer relevant to talk about, yet it is being used everywhere and enhanced in evolutionary ways, perhaps for some even revolutionary.

Tape remains being declared dead (e.g. on the Zombie technology list) yet being enhanced, purchased and utilized at higher rates with more data stored than in past history. Instead of being killed off by the disk drive, tape is being kept around for both traditional uses as well as taking on new roles where it is best suited such as long term or bulk off-line storage of data in ultra dense and energy efficient not to mention economical manners.

What I am seeing and hearing is that customers using tape are able to reduce the number of drives or transports, yet due to leveraging disk buffers or caches including from VTL and dedupe devices, they are able to operate their devices at higher utilization, thus requiring fewer devices with more data stored on media than in the past.

Likewise, even though I have been a fan of SSD for about 20 years and am bullish on its continued adoption, I do not see SSD killing off the spinning disk drive anytime soon. Disk drives are helping tape take on this new role by being a buffer or cache in the form of VTLs, disk based backup and bulk storage enhanced with compression, dedupe, thin provision and replication among other functionality.

There you have it, my predictions, observations and perspectives for 2010 and 2011. It is a broad and diverse list however I also get asked about and see a lot of different technologies, techniques and trends tied to IT resources (servers, storage, I/O and networks, hardware, software and services).

Lets see how they play out.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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