Cloud storage predictions for 2010
1) The cloud starts to get described
Vendors will begin to describe concrete features and benefits of their product offerings
2) Commodity hardware starts to displace proprietary storage
While all storage vendors claim to use commodity hardware, in reality they are all essentially closed solutions qualified on two or three commodity boxes. Customers are locked into stovepipes with little ability to truly benefit from Moore’s law by selecting from the thousands of commodity servers available at any given point and at multiple points of purchase.
3) Server Virtualization will drive Private Cloud Storage adoption in the Enterprises
With server virtualization, organizations are free to take advantage of low-cost commodity hardware and aren’t tied to proprietary linkage of the OS and the hardware platform. The weak link today is the storage infrastructure behind virtualized servers.
4) A storage middle tier will emerge
The strategic importance of a low-cost, self-managing, petabyte scale tier that provides a platform for analysis and integrated applications emerges in organizations with large stores of file data. These organizations that are investing heavily in new tier1 storage and moving aged data to archive will experiment with a middle tier that leverages low cost commodity hardware and provides read/write access. This middle tier will provide opportunity for administrators to automate storage management and optimize for performance and cost, but at a much lower expense. This middle tier will also support large scale analysis while eliminating related data migration and administrative tasks. The emerging middle tier will also provide an integration layer with service provider cloud offerings. The similar architectures enable "cloud bursting," the seamless ability for service providers to offer spillover capacity and compute to enterprises.
5) Opex, not Capex will emerge as the most important criteria driving storage purchases
Maintenance costs on existing gear will be under heavy review with the emergence of commodity-based hardware storage options.