Leading-edge firms have realized the problem and are beginning to focus on storage utilization and management as a means to reduce floor space usage and energy usage, improve compliance and improve controls on growth within the data center. Now is the time to do this, because most of the growth during the next five years will be in unstructured data -- the most difficult to manage from a process or tool point of view. Technologies that will become critical over the next few years are in-line deduplication, automated tiering of data to get the most efficient usage patterns per kilowatt, and flash or SSD drives for higher-end performance optimization, but with significantly reduced energy costs. NAND pricing continues to improve at a rapid pace, moving from $7,870 per gigabyte in 1997 down to $1.25 per gigabyte today -- and this trend will continue.
4. Hybrid clouds: Vendors increasingly use cloud computing as a marketing label for many old technologies and offerings, devaluing the term and trend. Although cloud computing is a natural evolution of various enterprise and Web-based technologies and trends, it is a mistake to simply relabel these older technologies as "cloud computing." This new computing model drives revolutionary changes in the way solutions are designed, built, delivered, sourced and managed.
Cloud computing is heavily influenced by the Internet and vendors that have sprung from it. Companies such as Google deliver various services built on a massively parallel architecture that is highly automated, with reliability provided via software techniques, rather than highly reliable hardware. Although cost is a potential benefit for small companies, the biggest benefits of cloud computing are built-in elasticity and scalability, which reduce barriers and enable these firms to grow quickly. A hybrid cloud service is composed of services that combine either for increased capability beyond what any one of them have (aggregating services, customizing them, or integrating two together), or for additional capacity.