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Report Scopes High-End Storage

A healthy market for high-end storage systems will endure for at least the next five years, spurred by ongoing requirements for ever-faster and more efficient SANs, says a new report from the subscription research service Byte and Switch Insider.

Hallmarks of the biggest, baddest storage boxes include redundancy throughout the system, massive scaleability, and advanced software features for point-in-time copying and replication services that don’t impact performance levels for other applications,” says report author Johanna Ambrosio.

“Only a few suppliers have the capability to play in this market. Mid-range systems may deliver on two or three of these parameters but don't address them all.”

Besides market drivers such as application consolidation, infrastructure simplification, regulatory compliance, and just plain doing more with less, high-end storage systems owe their continued growth to a range of technical innovations. These include the penetration of InfiniBand transmission, the rise of small-form-factor drives, and the addition of ATA drives and iSCSI connections, to name a few.

Suppliers of high-end storage also are making software and development services a key differentiator. The goal is to offer programs that allow the big boxes to handle different classes of applications, from the most mission-critical data on RAID drives to information that may be less frequently accessed on, say, ATA devices -- all within the same physical frame.

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