More is never enough with corporate data storage - “Petabytes are the New Terabytes.” Because of this, new hardware and software solutions are constantly in demand by data management.

Software-based solutions increasingly popular for data storage

Data storage is a consistent uphill battle - for many companies, more storage is needed constantly, and this has developed a secondary concern of data management. In InformationWeek’s 2013 State of Storage Survey, 42 percent of respondents manage 100 terabytes or more of data, highlighting just how critical data management strategy is. It can only become more central to IT departments, as the data growth rate is accelerating. In 2012, 23 percent of growth rates were less than 10 percent a year, and in 2013 that rate decreased to 14 percent. The next two faster growth rate categories increased this year - respondents rates from 10 percent to 24 percent growth grew from 53 to 56 percent between 2012 and 2013, 25-49 percent growth increased from 17 percent to 23 percent of respondents.

Many storage management strategies this year will rely on software

This storage acceleration is creating a dramatic need for storage technologies, and companies are making more use of them than ever. While progress is being made in a wide assortment of solutions, software-based innovations are heading the 2013 storage trends. Data reduction is more familiar in backup systems, but now it is being implemented for all levels of the storage ecosystem, boosting capacity without added cost. Server virtualization and solid state are both critical for remote and local systems, respectively. Enterprise cloud storage is being more widely implemented as a third option for backup or disaster recovery in addition to “on-site Tier 3 disks and tape libraries and off-site vaults.” Automated data management software is providing convenient space and budget savings for cold data.

Data practices are shaped by new products as well as already implemented solutions

While the forces described above are those that the Survey deems most potentially influential in 2013, management practices are highly dependent on incumbent systems as well as those systems that are easiest to implement. For survey respondents, the most important storage technology or feature this year (and last year) is replication. Over half of respondents year-over-year consider replication important when making storage purchase decisions. Encryption received a big boost from 42 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013, as did storage-based snapshots from 36 percent to 47 percent. Disk-to-disk-to-tape backup also was high on storage priorities, increasing from 34 percent last year to 41 percent this year.

By Ivory King