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Five Years On (part 2)

Looking back over the last five years; what has changed in the storage industry?

Well, there have certainly been a few structural changes; the wannabes, the could-bes, theyve mostly disappeared through acquisition or general collapse. The big players are still the big players; EMC, HDS, HP, IBM and NetApp still pretty much dominate the industry.

And their core products are pretty much the same at present; there’s been little revolution and a bit of evolution but the array in the data-centre today doesn’t yet feel much different from the array from five years ago.

Five years ago I was banging on about how useless ECC was and how poor the storage management tools are in general. The most used storage management tool was Excel. That was five years ago and as it was then, so it is today. No-one has yet produced a great storage management tool to enable the management of these ever growing estates.

Yet, there has been a massive improvement in the storage administration tools; anyone with a modicum of storage knowledge should be able to configure almost any array these days. Yes, you will be working at the GUI but I can take an IBM storage admin and point them at an EMC array, they will be able to carve it up and present storage.

Utilisation figures for storage still tend to be challenging; there is a great deal of wastage as I have blogged about recently. Some of this is poor user behaviour and some is poor marketing behaviour in that there is no way way to use what has been sold effectively.

So pretty much nothing has changed then?


Apart from the impact of SSD and Flash on the market; the massive number of start-ups focused on this sector…

Oh…and scale-out; Scale-Out is the new Scale-Up…Go Wide or Go Home..

Oh..then there’s virtualisation; the impact of virtualisation on the storage estate has been huge…

And then there’s that thing called Cloud which no-one can grasp and means different things to everyone..

And then there’s the impact of Amazon and their storage technologies..

And Big Data and the ever exploding growth of data collected and the ever hyperbolic hype-cycle.

So nothing’s really changed whilst everything has.


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