Data Storage 2008: It Was All About Capacity and the Cloud

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-12 Print this article Print

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.

Click here for a list of eWEEK's Top 10 Storage Stories for 2008.

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 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 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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