The year in storage

2009 was a year most don't want to remember. What with the recession and a downturn in storage spending taking up space in the news, there were a few highlights in the 2009 year in storage. They were in order of importance (at least by the amount of publicity they got):

1. Cloud storage: Everything was about cloud this year and how companies could spin the news. EMC introduced Atmos; NetApp said they had been in the cloud all along; IBM rolled out the Smart Business Storage Cloud; and, HP announced HP Cloud Assure software services. A bunch of start-ups including Egnyte, Nasuni and CTERA launched cloud storage this year.

2. Solid state drives: Nearly every storage vendor has its own take on solid state drives. EMC introduced FAST software, which automatically moves data between Tier 1 and Tier 0 layers of storage; Compellent hyped its Data Progression as the way to get data into Tier 0 solid state drives. Fusion-IO inked deals with HP and IBM to put their adapters in HP and IBM servers; Intel released solid state drives and so did Seagate; STEC took the prize by having the most storage vendors incorporate their SSDs into products; and, start-ups such as Pliant and Atrato introduced SSD products.

3. Data deduplication: Data deduplication made a name for itself this year and earned its way onto RFPs as a checkbox item. The biggest news was the bidding war for Data Domain: For $2.4 billion, EMC acquired a company that focused on deduplicating data with appliances. Both Quantum and Spectra Logic introduced dedupe appliances and companies such as Commvault and Symantec embedded deduplication capability into their backup products.

4. Converged networking: The market for Fibre Channel over Ethernet took off this year. The technology which converges Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet networks into a single network was driven by announcements from QLogic, Emulex, Brocade and Cisco. HP, Dell, IBM, EMC and NetApp also made FCoE news by saying they would integrate FCoE adapters and switches into their products.

5. Oracle acquires Sun: Finally, Oracle acquired Sun for $7.4 billion and gave Sun's storage products and servers a home. What Oracle will do with storage especially tape is still pretty much unknown. The European Union caused one of the most protracted delay in acquisitions, but that hurdle is now past and we'll all get to see if Oracle can turn around Sun storage.

Learn more about this topic

The down and dirty of data deduplication

Catching up with Fusion-io

EMC finally rolls out FAST

This story, "The year in storage " was originally published by Network World.

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