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12/16/2011
02:24 PM
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Storage In 2011: Disk-y Business

Take a look at significant events in the world of storage over the past year.

The good news is that storage costs continue to drop, with third-quarter disk capacity shipments up 30.7% year over year. Meanwhile, vendor revenues have increased only 8.5%, meaning enterprises can buy more storage for less money.

The bad news is that information volumes are growing at a minimum rate of 59% annually, so that even with the cost per byte--giga, zetta, undecillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) dropping rapidly--falling prices can't keep pace with increasing storage demands. According to Forrester Research, with 2011 IT budgets seeing more restrained growth--barely 7%--storage has become the poster child for doing more with less.

Against this backdrop of a world drowning in data, here are some highlights of what unfolded in the disk storage market in 2011, which is dominated by six vendors which hold more than 80% of the market.

The year started with the forecast that data was only growing at a paltry 50%-plus, with pure-play storage vendors like EMC and NetApp ruling the storage heap. According to Gartner, lots of users are still trying to buy the best-of-breed products from NetApp and EMC, and not from the server vendors like IBM and HP (or Dell and Oracle/Sun).

Market leader EMC grew its 2010 external disk revenue share 3% to 28%, almost double IBM's 14.4%. In January, EMC made its biggest product launch in its--or the storage industry's--history, with 41 new products, including its first significant foray into the SMB market and a complete refresh of its midrange Clariion storage area network (SAN) and Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

"What you're seeing today is EMC doubling down on its core franchise: storage. The technologies are changing, the use cases are changing, and the consumption models are changing," said EMC chairman and CEO Joe Tucci at the New York event/webcast. "These new products and capabilities put us in an excellent position to capitalize on the major trends in the IT industry and place us squarely at the intersection of the biggest ones: cloud computing and big data."

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

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