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Storage Visions 2012 Reflections: What’s Ahead for the Storage Industry

A few weeks have passed since I returned from Storage Visions (SV) 2012 in Las Vegas. This has given me time to process everything I heard and saw, and to provide my take on where the storage industry is headed. Because of its timing relative to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), SV attendees tend to also have their eyes on consumer electronics product trends.  This year was no exception.

The notable trends at CES this year were the forthcoming release of the next wave of UltrabooksTM, the continued advance of wireless and cloud connectivity in home computing and entertainment systems, and the growth of “the cloud” as the ubiquitous source of digital content and services. 

The ability to connect from anywhere and instantly access virtually any sort of content is the culmination of many years of focused effort on the part of the consumer electronics industry. Content providers are now leveraging this ability to deliver their services via the internet and through “on-demand” or app store experiences that meet consumers’ ever-changing tastes and needs.  This mirrors trends in enterprise computing, where “cloud infrastructure” is enabling data centers to scale compute and storage “on demand” to improve service delivery and reduce operating costs.

Clearly, these trends hold tremendous potential for the storage industry, both from a consumer and enterprise standpoint—a fact that was not at all lost on SV attendees. Indeed, a common theme at Storage Visions was the notion that consumers and businesses both need machines that serve up data in real-time. For example:

  • Companies that are serving up content to consumers have huge and variable processing and storage needs, which require scalable IT infrastructures.
  • Consumers are making broader use of data services on their mobile phones, while businesses are giving employees more seamless access to applications and data from their mobile device. Storage systems are essential in both situations.

The availability of server, desktop and storage virtualization allows companies to quickly deploy new websites and hosted or on-demand applications.  Furthermore, server capacity can dynamically scale to accommodate wide variances in website traffic and demand for web-hosted applications.

Clearly, online storage of data and digital media will continue to expand, and as businesses seek to balance performance, affordability and longevity, storage vendors are offering new approaches to meet those needs.   With that in mind, one thing seems certain: the future of the storage industry is bright, and our broad portfolio of storage offerings positions Toshiba for strong growth in 2012.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for digital storage this year?

The views expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of TAEC or Toshiba.

Disclaimer
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.

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