As world markets go, storage networking is a winner. Financial pundits say the sector has so far escaped the worst of the ongoing macroeconomic hurricane. And it looks like a handful of storage sub-segments are actually thriving.
In a few key areas, in fact, the prospects for storage equipment and software have never been better. These are the segments where sales are hottest, startups are getting top funding, and user demand is clear and strong.
Here are six of our top candidates for hottest storage segment, culled from contacts with vendors, analysts, and customers in the trenches. Please note: These are segments we see as hot right now. There are storage networking segments in development that haven't quite started to materialize:
No. 6: Medical archiving. Hospitals, doctors, and health care facilities worldwide are building ever-greater volumes of images related to their Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS). No sensible storage vendor is without a solution, including EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp, Overland, Permabit, and Plasmon. Medical content management specialist Bycast has partnered with a range of suppliers successfully. And services are emerging, most recently from Iron Mountain. Expect much more.
No. 5: Government storage. The reason that Arkeia, Asigra, InMage, and other suppliers have assigned specific resources to the government sector is that it's worth it. Government continues to be a significant investor in storage IT, and reports highlighting trends toward infrastructure optimization (read: virtualization and iSCSI), content security, and Web 2.0 networking show there will be plenty of need for government storage in the foreseeable future.