Cloud Security, Onsite Capacity Top Storage Trends in 2012: Symform

An increased focus on data will cause IT professionals to seek out new architectural models and technologies.

The coming year will herald in a "storage revolution," according to Symform, which released its top cloud and storage predictions for 2012. Over the last year, top headlines centered on the growing popularity of cloud services, the staggering growth in data and several high-profile data center outages. Based on industry trends and insights gathered from customers, partners and industry experts, Symform predicts 2012 will be all about data-how to store, secure, access and manage it.

According to Symform, this increased focus on data will serve as a catalyst for IT professionals to seek out new architectural models and technologies. Companies will place increased demands on vendors to dramatically reduce the cost of cloud-based services, such as storage, without jeopardizing security or performance. The company predicted centralized data center expansion will come under increasing fire from environmentalists, as it is not a "green" cloud computing model.

"Globally, the volume of data is growing at an accelerating, record pace. It is simply not possible for companies or service providers to continue managing and storing data with traditional local or offsite methodologies," said Matthew Schiltz, CEO of Symform. "This massive data growth combined with the high cost and reliability issues surrounding traditional offsite storage will force a revolution in the industry, as companies push to get greater ROI from existing infrastructure and take a more strategic view of their data."

Symform predicts that accelerating amounts of data, combined with the high cost of traditional offsite storage, will serve as a catalyst for revolutionary reform. With IDC predicting 50 times data growth by 2020 and the gap between costs of local versus offsite storage continuing to widen, businesses must identify dramatically better means for how this data can be managed, retained, stored, shared, virtualized and distributed.

The spread will continue to widen between per GB costs of a local storage device versus what it costs per GB to store and back up that data in the cloud. With 4TB drives on the horizon for less than $100, "businesses will balk" at paying $1,000 per month to back up a $100 local drive. The company also predicted businesses will look to solve a fundamental storage issue of deploying additional onsite storage capacity at record rates when the average local disc is only 25 to 35 percent utilized over the life of the drive.

Next year will be a wake-up call for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) to reassess current storage and backup practices, the report forecast, noting SMBs are among the most vulnerable victims of cloud outages, with some never fully recovering after experiencing a major data loss. "To make matters worse, research reveals that 70 percent of SMBs do not store data offsite, only locally, and that at least 15 percent of SMBs have no data backup or business continuity plans whatsoever," Symform added. "Faced with a dizzying array of on-premises and 'prosumer' cloud storage options like iCloud and Dropbox, Symform predicts that SMBs will re-evaluate their buying criteria in favor of more secure, scalable, enterprise-class storage and backup solutions."