2011 storage outlook

2011 storage outlook

Summary: 2010 was a good year for storage. But 2011 will be a great year. Here's what to look for.

TOPICS: Hardware, Storage

The pace of consumer storage will accelerate in 2011. Here's what to expect.

The year storage hurts server sales Combine the slowdown in server speedup with the speedup in storage performance - thanks to SSDs - and server sales will take a hit. Why replace a 3 year old server with something only slightly faster when an SSD will provide more performance at a lower price?

Cloud Going nowhere but up. Amazon will lead the pack as they continue to roll out new services faster than anyone else. Google's UI and marketing weakness will keep them from exploiting an otherwise favorable position.

The real action will be in cloud middleware: software that enables mere mortals - even SOHO and SMBs - to implement cloud infrastructures. For the first time SMBs will have access to the kind of disaster recovery capabilities that only big companies could afford - running on low-cost hardware and cloud storage that the big guys are just getting started with.

SSD NAND prices resume their decline this year and that means faster unit growth for flash SSDs. The PCIe flash card market will get more competitive - witness Intel's newly announced SSD 310 mini-PCIe drives - but look for app-accelerating software to start driving large-scale enterprise adoption.

By next Christmas many mid-range notebooks will be sporting SSDs. But SSD reliability issues may hurt consumer acceptance. The industry needs to come clean or offer great warranties.

eSATA/USB 3.0/Light Peak All offer cost-effective local bandwidth greater than a single disk drive, and erase the difference between external and internal storage. That means that notebooks become even more viable desktop replacements.

Don't expect to see Light Peak before mid-year, but you will see a small but useful set of Light Peak peripherals at first customer ship.

The Storage Bits take 2010 was a good year for storage. But 2011 will be a great year.

There is so much happening at all levels - device, array, cloud and management - that the permutations are endless. The only certainty is that we'll be using more storage at a lower cost than ever before.

Comments welcome, of course. Happy New Year!

Topics: Hardware, Storage

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  • Vista and Win7 are murder on SSDs

    We've had multiple failures of SSD laptop drives running Win7 or Vista. For laptops with normal drives, we've had higher levels of hard drive failure as well. Newer Windows systems hammer the hard drive even when the user is inactive, not only slowing down the overall performance but also wearing out both SSD and standard hard drives much sooner than expected by the drive makers.

    While we have stayed with XP as much as possible, we had deployed a number of Vista and Win7 systems over the last two years. It has been a painful process, those systems have 5 - 10 times as many service and support calls than the traditional XP systems.
    terry flores
    • Are you running them right?

      @terry flores <br><br>Do you have TRIM enabled? I don't own an SSD yet, but I have yet to have a HDD die on me as a result of running Vista or 7.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: 2011 storage outlook

        @Cylon Centurion 0005

        TRIM is enabled on some of the Win7 systems, but not on ones that are using disk encryption (there are some interaction problems). I've gotten some feedback on other potential fixes from HP and Lenovo (our suppliers) but they are still researching the issues. Since all of these laptops are under support contracts, it ends up being their problem other than the inconvenience it causes to our end users.
        terry flores
  • RE: 2011 storage outlook

    Let me guess, Bigger is Better?
  • RE: 2011 storage outlook

    For those who want some storage performance, lots of capacity and yet are affordable, in other words speed of flash ssd, space of a large disk yet not break the bank, check out the Hybrid Hard Disk Drives (HHDD).


    I?ve been using HHDD in my laptops for a while now having used them for disk to disk backup and staging prior to that.

    Sure they are not as fast as my 64GB flash SSD, however at 500GB, 7.2K RPM, 2.5" SATA with 4GB of flash and 32MB of RAM for about $150 at Amazon among others, its great balance for many desktops/laptops/workstations.

    Of course if you need the speed which should pay for itself via productivity, by all means go SSD, however if you are wishing you could afford that larger SSD to enable storing more videos, large documents, making windows and other apps load faster without breaking the bank, check out the HHDDs.

    Here?s a link to a post that is part of a series I have been doing on my experiences of using the HHDDs alongside my HDDs and SSDs.