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Research: 2011 State of Storage

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Strategy: Storage Innovation

Research: 2011 State of Storage

The Changing Storage Landscape

For years, the trend in storage architectures has been toward consolidation, using bigger, more complex and much more expensive systems. This is the mainframe model applied to storage, even as the computing world was embracing distributed, commodity, virtualized systems. But technology has a way of destroying every paradigm, and storage is no exception.

The maturation of semiconductor-based nonvolatile flash memory into a cost-competitive storage technology, along with creative approaches that have turned banks of cheap commodity disk drives into parallelized, consolidated pools of centrally managed storage are reshaping the landscape. Designing enterprise storage architectures is no longer a matter of choosing the biggest, baddest storage system and bulking up as needed. No, today storage architects are designing more specialized systems that strike the right balance for their needs between price and performance, centralized and distributed, solid state and magnetic, and on-site and cloud.

There are three key areas of storage innovation: solid state, scale out and cloud integration. This report looks at the pros and cons of all three, identifying the leading purveyors of each. We examine how they can be symbiotically integrated, sometimes in the same system, to create storage designs with the optimum balance of price and performance. And we provide suggestions on how you can incorporate these technologies into your storage architecture. (S5420712)

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