The storage market is one of change, growth, and technological advancement. If you follow storage trends, you'll find yourself intrigued by what's to come. To shed some light into this space, I spoke with EqualLogic's VP of Marketing, John Joseph, and Dylan Locsin, public relations manager. Right away, I was told that virtualization is taking the market by storm. Joseph had just attended a VMware show and attendance was up 4,000 attendees from the previous year. The reasons for the increased interest may be obvious. Virtualization saves physical space, optimizes capacity, and grows your datacenter—along with the application and server side—virtually. Joseph said that ease-of-use is everything when it comes to customers. Customers want to easily deploy, use, upgrade, and scale storage. "It's about getting more functionality with a click of a button, minus the extra hardware, cables, and connectors," says Joseph.
Another big trend in the storage realm is data protection and recovery. Joseph and Locsin see more people that want to protect data in remote locations. But more importantly, users are concerned about data recovery. The ability to pull back snapshots and recover to a known point in time—within minutes—is more important that ever. Joseph calls snapshots an "easily transportable entity" because you are able to move them across fibre optic wires quickly.
We also talked about a recent report from IDC. According to IDC, in 2006, the iSCSI SAN market grew by 153 percent. From talking to Joesph and Locsin, I learned that for the first time, this market will exceed $1 billion. They said that people are moving from DAS to SAN storage. In fact, Joseph said that over 45% of people have a strategy in place to move to SAN or are already doing so. "SAN enables functionality in virtualization that DAS doesn't," says Joseph. For example, with DAS, you're not able to move a virtual machine (VM) off one physical server to the next.