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What is eating data storage?

By Lee Johns, @StorageOlogist and Director of Converged Storage


In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, HP board member Mark Andreessen wrote about “Why Software is Eating the World.” In his essay, Mark discusses how more and more businesses are run on software and delivered as an online service, He gives examples like books, photography, music, direct marketing, telecoms and on and on where this phenomenon is apparent.


Also recently Steve Duplessie of the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), wrote a blog post entitled “Is It Time to Reclassify Storage?”.  Steve asks the question: Are the current categories we place storage in still valid in a world of SSD and the cloud? He argues that the traditional classifications in storage such as block and file, Tier 1 & 2 and modular and monolithic may no longer be valid and we should be looking at a reclassification by use case.  This is because the way we handle storage workflow through the data lifecycle is now more important that the type of data or the physical platform the storage sits on. 


These articles got me thinking.  What is eating storage?


The obvious answer of course is the massive amount of data we are generating (although it is probably more accurate to say that is what is giving storage indigestion).  Here are some things really eating storage:

  • Disk is eating tape in the backup market (although tape will coexist with disk for a long time to come).
  • SSD is eating disk for high performance I/O and caching (although most architectures will use a combination of disk and SSD).
  • Industry-standard server-based platforms are eating specialized storage controller designs.

But of course the big one is:  software is eating storage.


Storage vendors are really software companies. They employ more software engineers than hardware engineers.  The storage code being written is increasingly designed to run on X-86 processors and standard operating system platforms. Storage is increasingly a core component of a service or is a service in itself that is delivered online.


New innovation in storage media will continue to result in storage hardware innovation.  You will still buy optimized hardware platforms to run storage (although increasingly server and storage platforms will converge).  Rest assured though that storage is being eaten by software.  That will break down artificial boundaries have been drawn in the data center with siloed technology. That is a good thing and an opportunity for all involved in this vibrant industry.


Where Converged Storage comes in to play


Want to know how software is eating storage at HP? And find out more about how you can benefit from HP Converged Storage to break down artificial boundaries in the datacenter to drive operational efficiencies?  Take a look at these short videos:





Learn some more


If you are interested in what HP is doing to deliver Cloud Storage as a service, take a look at our announcement of our beta program.  And check here to learn more about Converged Storage.

David Wright | ‎01-24-2012 09:13 PM

After watching the video my first thought was that we have almost gone in a full circle. Years ago company systems were driven by huge mainframes. Everything was scaled down when the PC came along. Then came the internet and the need for great flexibility. Now, we have converged storage. Powerful data centres with huge cost savings for everyone but with the flexibility necessary for modern business and life styles.

| ‎01-25-2012 06:13 AM

Hi David - great observation.  I was never a mainframe guy but know enough to understand what you mean. 


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