2011 Storage Predictions: SSDs & Cloud To Play Major Roles

As businesses and consumers adapt to new and intelligent devices designed to deal with the massive explosion of data, I see developments in the solid state drive (SSD), increasing adoption of cloud computing and the need for consumers to change the way they manage and store data as the key issues for next year.

Revolutionising the use of SSDs

Whatever CIOs are planning for the next year or two, they must ensure that they have investigated the impact that NAND/ Flash based technology solutions can have on guaranteeing the success of their strategy.

In 2010 SSD technology was at the tipping point, where wider adoption driven by the need for better performing client devices resulted in a rapid reduction in the cost per gigabyte. I expect this trend to continue in 2011 as enterprises adopt SSDs to upgrade the performance of client devices and look to “sweat their assets” for longer. Businesses will not only reap an immediate ROI but they will also see increased performance of their employees.

With the ever increasing volume of data we expect to see SSD become the prominent form of internal client storage within the next five years, particular in business. That said, we also expect SSD and HDD to coexist for some time to come on the consumer computing platform (where migration to the cloud, for example, may take longer), with SSD driving the performance of boot, OS and high usage applications, and HDD continuing to store data.

In 2011, as SATA 3.0 becomes more common, SSD technology will evolve to change the way computer systems are designed forever, particularly in the industrial and embedded environments. The integration of new SSD form factors into computerized devices will enable industries such as automotive and manufacturing; and applications such as ATMs and CCTVs to benefit from increased performance, reduced failure rates over HDDs and added endurance to extend the lifecycle of the system.

Tapping the potential of Memory Virtualisation

There has been a great deal of discussion about cloud computing for the last few years, and although expectations were running high the hype has not lived up to the noise yet. Despite developments in SAP software as a service (SaaS) adoption and more applications on the market, constraints such as data centre bandwidth and data security still need further development before we see mass adoption.

In 2011, we will see a greater need for more virtualisation as the corporate market continues to see the benefits of “doing more with less” by building out virtual server environments. As virtualization continues to increase, core components like processing and memory will be on the agenda as businesses look to create efficient ways to deal with the ever increasing amounts of data.

Technology leap of USB 3.0

USB 3.0 with 10 X faster theoretical transfer speed to USB 2.0 means that USB has now become a viable external storage device. For example someone buying a 64GB USB drive or higher, will not be looking to only copy a couple of pictures. Instead, they will be looking to back up hard-disks, copy entire music and movie libraries and thousands of pictures. There will be a flood of motherboards offering USB 3.0 as a standard in 2011, thus further driving adoption of USB 3.0 drives as the product of choice for personal mobile storage and large capacity backup.

The role of USB

With more than 3 billion App Store downloads this year and 10 billion iTunes downloaded, people create, share and consume more content than ever before. As content continues to grow the role of the USB is going to evolve from being purely a storage device to an active, essential part of a consumers life to easily and reliably share, move and store their content—anytime, anywhere.

Mobile Tablets and their storage potential

The mobile tablet market is just beginning to take off thanks to the release of the iPad and other similar tablet devices. These intelligent devices are designed to create a new experience in the way people interact with content giving them access anytime, anywhere. The one limitation of the currently available tablets is their rather small in-built storage. This will lead to opportunities in 2011, where Flash-based products have a huge potential to be used as added, external storage for these gadgets. Consumers will be looking closely at what kind of external storage offerings can be used in combination with their tablet that will satisfy their needs, especially with fast transfer rates and additional security features being top of the list.

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John Tu is the President, Sales & Marketing and Co-founder of Kingston Technology. John founded the company in 1987 with his partner David Sun, Vice President, Engineering. Prior to founding Kingston Technology, John served as President and Co-founder of Camintonn Corporation until its sale to AST Research in 1986. He remained with AST as Vice President and General Manager of the company's Digital Division until moving on to set up Kingston Technology.