ANALYSIS: New products and services involving PCIe cards, image cloning, storage pooling, automation, capacity management and a slew of others are coming into the market from established companies and newbies alike.
we do periodically here at eWEEK, we offer another snapshot (sorry, couldn't
resist that analogy) of important new and continuing trends in data storage.
These are based upon regular conversations with storage vendors, analysts, data
center managers, CIOs and CTOs, in addition to our regular coverage here at
products and services involving PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect
express) cards, image cloning, storage pooling, automation, capacity management
and a slew of others are coming into the market from established companies and
media, including spinning disk hard drives, solid-state NAND and NOR flash,
digital tape, and optical disks, continue to become more capacious-and run
cooler-as engineers and manufacturers improve upon improvements. Markedly
better networking and processing speeds are also instrumental in these product
are five of the most important enterprise storage trends at midyear 2011, as
seen by eWEEK:
The mainstreaming of PCIe:
Handy of Objective Analysis told eWEEK his firm is forecasting that the NAND
flash-powered PCIe interface will become dominant in the enterprise solid-state
disk market in 2012, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of
its SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts.
agree, especially on the use of NAND flash in general, whether or not it's
found on a PCIe card. Everywhere we look, we're seeing IT managers and
corporate IT decision-makers adding-or planning to add-SSDs into their mixes.
launched PCIe in 2004. It is an expansion-card standard based on point-to-point
serial links rather than a shared parallel bus architecture, and it is designed
to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.
flash storage has the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead by
reducing latencies, increasing throughput and enabling efficient processing of
massive quantities of data.
is the heir apparent to Fibre Channel, and newer servers and storage arrays
support multiple SAS HDDs, some or all of which can be replaced by these new
SAS SSDs to add performance with little additional effort," Handy said.
"Objective Analysis expects to see strong acceptance of SAS SSDs over the
near term as more and more data center managers learn the advantage of adding
solid-state storage to their systems."
Virtual machine image cloning as an
alternative to snapshots:
Oracle has a leg up on this one. Its
new VirtualBox 4.1 includes a new virtual machine cloning facility-one of the
first on the market
now, when you have a virtual machine running, you create a snapshot, which is a
child of the current virtual machine," Wim Coekaerts, who serves as
Oracle's senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, told
eWEEK. "But that's not something that can independently grow afterward.
With a clone, you have a new entity that can then have its own life and,
subsequently, its own snapshots."
snapshot is an object and a part of the virtual disk; it's not able to be
copied onto any other servers and used in any way. Users don't have any
visibility into it, Coekaerts said.
are a completely new virtual disk object, independent units that can have new
lives of their own. "From then on, you now have a unit that is like a VM
created from scratch, so you can treat it as such," Coekaerts said. This
will be good news for IT managers and VDI admins, although it may serve up some
new issues when it comes to VM propagation.