More than 40 percent of IT decision makers say they have plans to use SSD technology in the future or are already using it.
IT professionals are
embracing high-performance solid-state disks to support growing data storage
demands driven by cloud computing and analytics technologies, a survey by
technology giant IBM revealed. More than half (57 percent) of the customers
surveyed responded that their organizations need to develop a new storage
approach to manage future growth. The survey of 250 U.S. IT professionals in
decision-making positions was conducted by Zogby International in August 2011
on behalf of IBM.
More than two-fifths (43
percent) of IT decision makers say they have plans to use solid-state drive (SSD)
technology in the future or are already using it. Speeding delivery of data was
the motivation behind 75 percent of respondents who plan to use or already use
SSD technology. Those survey respondents who are not currently using SSD said
cost was the reason (71 percent).
IBM said the survey
demonstrates a need for a new class of storage that can expand the market for
SSDs by combining increased data delivery with lower costs and other benefits.
The survey also found that 43
percent of the respondents say they are concerned about managing "big data"
and about a third of all respondents (32 percent) said they either plan to
switch to more cloud storage in the future or currently use cloud storage. Nearly
half (48 percent) say they plan on increasing storage investments in the area
of virtualization, cloud (26 percent) and flash memory/solid state (24 percent)
and analytics (22 percent). In addition, the survey found 38 percent of
respondents said their organization's storage needs are growing primarily to
drive business value from data. Adhering to government compliance and
regulations that require organizations to store more data for longer-sometimes
up to a decade-was also a leading factor (29 percent).
"Technology shifts and
market forces are fundamentally changing the composition and design of storage
systems," said Bruce Hillsberg, director of storage systems for IBM
Research Almaden. "Evolving current storage technologies alone would not
answer customers' diverse and rising data storage demands. We're constantly
researching new materials and processes to extend existing storage technologies
and get ahead of the performance and capacity requirements of future
As part of its solid-state
research, IBM Research invented a technology that makes it possible for clients
to intelligently manage data in tiers. IBM's Easy Tier technology automatically
moves the most active data (such as credit card transactions) to faster SSDs to
prioritize and provide access to data for emerging workloads like analytics.
The system moves secondary data (less urgent data to be saved, for example, for
regulatory requirements) to more cost-effective storage technologies. This is a
technology designed to prevent what IBM characterizes as "SSD sprawl"
or the overuse of the technology.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.