Yes, Big Data is getting all the attention and yes Big Data needs “Big Storage,” so every storage vendor will make it the buzz for 2012. Big Data has many definitions but what is obvious is that the growth rates and the amount of data being stored continue to grow. This Big Data requires better solutions in order for it to be cost-effectively managed. Analyst firm IDC believes the world’s information is doubling every two years. By the end of 2011, according to IDC, the world will create a staggering 1.8 zettabytes of data. By 2020, the world will generate 50 times that amount of data, and IT departments will have to manage 75 times the number of “information containers” housing this data. Clearly, the largest companies managing petabytes, exabytes and beyond are the main focus of the talk, but the small and mid-size businesses that deal in terabytes of data comprise the vast majority of the real world. And it is these small-to-midsize companies that need practical data storage and management solutions TODAY. These business consumers can’t afford to wait until tomorrow, nor can they afford to throw out their existing storage investments. Rather, they need solutions that build on what devices they currently have installed and make those more efficient, highly-available and easier to manage.
Software technologies, such as thin provisioning, auto-tiering, storage virtualization and storage hypervisors that empower users to easily manage all the storage assets they require – whether located on-premise, at a remote site or in the Cloud – will be key enablers in 2012. Big Data will be the buzz and will drive many new innovations. Big Data will also benefit greatly from these same software-based enablers, but the Small Data opportunity is extremely large and that is where I’m betting the real action will be in 2012.