Top 10 storage stories of 2013

Users tackle virtualisation and growth of data and suppliers battle over flash storage and software-defined storage, while big data and hyperscale emerge into the mainstream

The big drivers in storage this year have been:

  • Server and desktop virtualisation, which has driven the flash storage revolution.
  • Increasing data volumes, which have, arguably, driven software-defined storage and big data analytics.
  • The emergence of hyperscale computing and storage.
  • The continued, but slow and sometimes faltering, rise of cloud storage.

This review of storage in 2013 features a rich variety of stories from Computer Weekly that map the key trends of the year: the big storage array makers’ milestone flash announcements; big data and the challenge of Hadoop and hyperscale architectures to enterprise storage; the software-defined bandwagon rolls through storageland; tape at NAS speed with LTFS; and the question marks over the cloud raised by the Nirvanix collapse.

1. NetApp launches first all-flash array and new operating system

In February, NetApp dipped its toes in the all-flash array market with an adapted E-Series; announced FlashRay, a "new" flash-optimised operating system (OS), and; revamped its high-end FAS6200 arrays with flash options.

2. EMC XtremIO flash array available July, server flash cards expanded

In March, EMC announced its XtremIO flash array would ship to beta customers in July. Meanwhile, its server flash capacities were expanded, its flash cache roadmapped, and all under the umbrella of a rebranding across all flash products.

3. Big Blue's billion-dollar bet on SSD includes all-flash storage array

In April, Big Blue threw its not inconsiderable weight into the flash ring, with a commitment to $1bn of investment and the launch of flash platforms acquired from Texas Memory Systems.

4. Big data storage: Defining big data and the type of storage it needs

This podcast looks into how we can define big data, the compute/storage system configurations used for big data analytics and the type of storage infrastructure it requires.

5. Big data storage: Hadoop storage basics

Hadoop is changing the game for enterprise storage. We look at how Hadoop crunches big data, its key storage requirements and survey the suppliers that offer Hadoop storage products.

6. Can hyperscale computing eclipse enterprise storage?

Pioneered by Facebook and Google, hyperscale computing and storage is built on cheap commodity parts with redundancy at device level. Can it work for your organisation?

7. Storage virtualisation versus software-defined storage

In this blog, StorageBuzz wielded the clarity hammer against the confusion that arose as software-defined storage became one of the storage industry buzzwords for 2013.

8. EMC unveils ViPR software-defined storage platform

Big news in May was EMC’s launch of ViPR – a platform that promises to marry multi-supplier array environments with big data analytics capabilities.

9. LTFS tape NAS: A great idea stuck in a niche

Linear Tape File System (LTFS) offers the potential to build nearline storage at the cost of tape but with NAS-like file access. Sounds great, but when will it catch on?

10. Nirvanix failure – a blow to the cloud storage model?

In September, cloud storage firm Nirvanix gave customers a deadline to retrieve their data. Are the reasons for its failure specific to Nirvanix or a real blow to cloud storage overall?

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