Data Storage 2008: It Was All About Capacity and the Cloud
Online backup, private cloud systems and vastly improved overall capacity for disks, flash memory and even tape proved to be the key storage news developments of the year. More upward spiraling for all of the above is expected for 2009; the only thing expected to decline is pricing.
IT's 2008 data storage story centered around three major developments: the
steady growth of online backup services, the emergence of private "cloud-type"
storage systems for enterprises and continued improvement in the enterprise
quality of NAND flash for speedier data access.
Another trend involved pricing: Prices came down all over the sector, from high-end EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell arrays to the smallest Iomega, SanDisk and Seagate Technology personal storage drives. Where the rock bottom is, nobody purports to know.
Disks, both spinning and solid state, continued to get denser and more capacious (that's our favorite term for this year). Disk capacity is much improved, thanks largely to new developments in perpendicular magnetic recording, a way of recording data on hard disks first demonstrated in Japan in 1976. The technique is capable of delivering up to 10 times the storage density of conventional longitudinal recording-on the same media.
Competition in the NAND flash arena continues to be fierce, as Samsung, Toshiba, Intel, SanDisk and Western Digital duke it out for superiority in the fast-moving market that supplies products for basically all handheld devices in the world.
All in all, it was a very newsy year for data storage.