Future Developments

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-09-19 Print this article Print


In the future, we'll see other developments, such as vastly improved scale-out file systems, longer-term disk archiving, better storage management control and greatly improved capacity on the media. Storage media, including spinning-disk hard drives, solid-state disks, digital tape and optical disks, continue to become more capacious (and run cooler)as engineers and manufacturers continue to achieve performance improvements. Markedly better networking and processing speeds are also instrumental in these upgrades.

Using today's standard storage tech, there have been some advancements that bear notice.

NAND flash will continue its journey from handheld devices into the data center. "The use of NAND flash in general is a continuing enterprise trend," said The 451 Group storage analyst Henry Baltazar. "MLC [multi-level cell] flash-most often used in consumer products-is coming more into use for enterprise applications. And it's less expensive than SLC [single-level cell] flash.

"Take a vendor like SanDisk, for example. Their high-end SAS [serial-attached storage] drives using SLC are priced around $20 per gigabyte. If you look at the MLC variety, that's priced around $10 per gigabyte."

PCIe Moves to Mainstream

Also, PCIe cards are becoming mainstream. Analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis said his firm forecasts 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.

In 2004, Intel launched PCIe, an expansion-card standard based on point-to-point serial links rather than a shared parallel bus architecture. It's designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards. PCIe-based flash storage has the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead by reducing latencies, increasing throughput and enabling efficient processing of massive quantities of data.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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