8 Hot Storage Trends That Will Save You Money

Find out what technologies and trends will cut enterprise storage costs.

Jim O'Reilly

April 21, 2016

9 Slides

A revolution is hitting storage today. From software all the way down to the drives themselves, storage is getting a much-needed makeover. While rapid change is challenging to keep up with, there are opportunities to do old tasks in a new way and save quite a bit of cash in the process.

The solid-state drive essentially triggered the storage revolution, with the idea that a small number of SSDs could outperform large array boxes with hundreds of hard drives. That’s changing the industry and putting pressure on the hard drive market. High-capacity SSDs now are 50% larger than the biggest HDD and there is plenty of growth to come.

SSD prices have already dipped below enterprise hard drive prices (Dell sells a 1 TB drive for $300) and Google has blasted the myth that expensive SSDs are needed for servers. So, for all but the extreme performance boxes where NVMe is appropriate, the SATA SSD is adequate for the job.

This leads us to commodity white boxes and low-cost storage appliances. We will see a flood of these units this year, recognizing a market that now accepts COTS hardware as a low-risk, low-cost investment. Of course, this wouldn’t happen without software, but high-quality stacks such as Ceph handle that part of the equation well. We are also moving to better automation. Software-defined infrastructure will automate management of networks and storage, making hybrid clouds -- another hot technology trend this year -- much easier to implement.

In the latter part of the year, we’ll see a frenzy of activity around non-volatile DIMMs. Already incorporated by the major server suppliers, NVDIMMs promise a radical readjustment of server operation, which will accelerate when Intel delivers near-DRAM speed X-Point memory in NVDIMM form. The impact on in-memory database performance is dramatic, so expect products from Oracle and others to hit the market later in the year.

Overall, the results of the storage revolution should encourage innovation, make storage agile and, most importantly, save enterprises a lot of money.

Learn more about the changing storage landscape in the Storage Track at Interop Las Vegas this spring. Don't miss out! Register now for Interop, May 2-6, and receive $200 off.

(Image: RomoloTavani/iStockphoto)

About the Author(s)

Jim O'Reilly


Jim O'Reilly was Vice President of Engineering at Germane Systems, where he created ruggedized servers and storage for the US submarine fleet. He has also held senior management positions at SGI/Rackable and Verari; was CEO at startups Scalant and CDS; headed operations at PC Brand and Metalithic; and led major divisions of Memorex-Telex and NCR, where his team developed the first SCSI ASIC, now in the Smithsonian. Jim is currently a consultant focused on storage and cloud computing.

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