Just a few years ago, the data storage market seemed mature, supporting just a handful of giant competitors. But today the industry is exploding with innovation and buzz — and that, in turn, is creating unprecedented new benefits for organizations of all sizes.
“The storage industry hasn’t seen this much disruption in years,” says M. Vaughn Stewart, chief technical evangelist for Pure Storage, an all-flash enterprise storage company headquartered in Mountain View, California. “We are on the cusp of a revolution.”
What’s driving this radical shift in storage?
First, of course, there’s simply more data to store. Just consider the growth of what technology research and consulting company International Data Corporation (IDC) calls the digital universe—that is, all the digital data that is created, replicated, and consumed every year. IDC predicts that the digital universe will expand tenfold in the next few years, reaching 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020.
Second, the industry has seen massive changes to the computing resources and infrastructure above the storage layer with, for instance, the widespread adoption of larger virtualized server pools, high-performance databases, and other fast-growing computing environments, which can quickly overwhelm the capacity of traditional storage arrays.
Finally, but perhaps most important, there’s the evolution — or revolution — of flash technology as a viable alternative to disk in storage. In fact, all-flash arrays (AFAs) are transforming the very nature of storage itself.