The Year in Storage: Reflection on 2012 and Predictions for 2013 Page 2 - Page 2


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2013 Predictions

As I said last year, I wanted to get my 2013 predictions out before December 21, 2012, in case the Mayans are correct.

Also, one other thing that I said last year holds true: All of what I have written was true the day I wrote it, but nothing in our industry stays the same for long.

  1. My first prediction is that sometime in 2013 we will find that PCIe-4 is going to be delayed--probably till 2016. This means that technologies such as 100 GbE will have to run in 16-lane PCIe slots. Without 32 lanes you cannot have a dual port card. The latest thing I can find from the PCI SIG is this slide:

    PCI-SIG standards

  2. There will be continued market consolidation among SSD vendors. The market has too many vendors with limited technology differentiation and with high marketing and sales costs. This model does not work nor can it be sustained given the development costs.
  3. 10 GbE per port switch prices will finally be priced reasonably. The number of 10 GbE chipsets is growing fast. Soon, the market will be flooded with new chips and this will drive the prices of switch ports down.
  4. In the enterprise, we will finally see a significant movement to 2.5 inch disks rather than 3.5 inch drives. There are lots of advantages of 2.5 inch drives over 3.5 inch drives in terms of watts per IOP and watts per MB/sec. This is not to say that I am predicting the death of 3.5 inch drives--just movement to reduce the market share for 3.5 inch drives.
  5. We will see file system appliance vendors becoming application appliance vendors with specific highly tuned appliances embedded into the architecture.
  6. We will see a significant reduction in the number of LTO tape library vendors and major cutbacks from some vendors. The reason is that LTO-6 only increased density to 2.5 TB, and enterprise vendors are already way beyond that in terms of density and performance. For large tape library configurations, LTO is more expensive than enterprise tape given the cost of robot slots and number of tape drives needed to meet performance requirements. Though LTFS will help, it is not going to stop this trend.
  7. We will see the T10 PI (host to disk data protection) standard finally become mainstream. There have been a few technologies that have caused this to lag, but I think we will finally get everything in place. If you are a regular reader, you know that I have made this prediction before and been wrong. We really need this technology.
  8. More consolidation in the HPC community will impact us all. Last year Intel purchased the QLogic Infiniband business, Cray’s network interconnect group, and WhamCloud, the Lustre file system company. Intel has clearly started a trend, and other vendors will have to respond. I predict this will begin in 2013.
  9. A vendor will demonstrate new non-volatile memory technology that could be used for things like database index tables. I am not saying who will demonstrate it or what the technology will be, but I believe we will see something next year.
  10. Finally, this last item is more of a hope than a prediction, but I will make it anyway. The industry really needs more than POSIX (open/fopen, read/fread,write/fwrite) and more than simple REST put/get interfaces for data in the future. Neither has the richness to address the myriad of polices that are needed in our future world. I predict that there will finally be some honest discussion about this amongst the customers that need it and the vendors that could create it. Maybe this should be my request to Santa. I have tried to encourage this discussion for years and I have gotten no traction.

Have a happy, safe holiday season and a prosperous 2013!

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