Tech 10: Hot Storage Technologies For 2013

Up And Away

CRN cut the storage industry into 10 different slices, each of which features one representative product highlighting the changes going on in the industry. Included are cloud storage, game-changing hard drive and SSD offerings, and a variety of hardware and software combinations that provide features and benefits beyond what each individual part could offer. Here's a look at some products that showcase just how dynamic and diverse today's storage market has become.

Pure-Play Cloud Storage: AWS Storage Gateway

Amazon Web Services in November added a local caching feature for primary storage to its new AWS Storage Gateway solution. The new gateway-cached volumes for AWS Storage Gateway, which backs up local data to cloud-based storage, stores frequently accessed primary data on-site while storing less frequently accessed data on the cloud for low cost and scalability.

Storage Array On A Blade: Dell EqualLogic

Dell in September started shipping its EqualLogic Blade Arrays, which are the company's existing EqualLogic iSCSI storage arrays, in a new form factor. The new PS-M4110 blade arrays include two controllers and up to 14 hard drives and/or SSDs. It fits into Dell's 10U PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis, along with Dell blade servers and Dell Force10 networking gear as part of a converged infrastructure.

All-Flash Storage Arrays: SolidFire Storage-Based Nodes

Startup SolidFire in November unveiled solid-state, storage-based nodes targeting cloud service providers looking to provide clear, performance-based, SLAs to customers, something that was not possible before, the company said. The SolidFire storage node capacity can be carved up into multiple tiers of storage, each of which can be configured for performance or capacity, offering such high-performance applications as Oracle, SAP, Hadoop Big Data and NoSQL databases.

OpenStack-Based Storage Clouds: Rackspace Cloud Block Storage

Rackspace Hosting in October unveiled technology to host block storage on OpenStack clouds. The new offering, Rackspace Cloud Block Storage, provides access to multiple volumes of storage based on either hard drive or SSDs separate from cloud-based compute resources. Rackspace Cloud Block Storage is based on the Cinder OpenStack Block Storage project for building a detachable storage framework separate from cloud computing resources.

SSDs' Increasing Capacity, Performance: SanDisk

SanDisk in January unveiled SSDs that feature high capacity and performance in a small form factor. The SanDisk X110 SSDs, built with multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash using 19nm process technology, offer capacities of up to 256 GB, 505 MBps of sequential read performance and 445 MBps sequential write performance.

Converged Infrastructure-In-A-Box: SimpliVity OmniCube

Startup SimpliVity in September introduced its OmniCube data center solution. The SimpliVity OmniCube is a 2U rack-mount system that includes 10 Intel processor cores combined with eight 3-TB hard drives and four 200-GB SSDs, along with the necessary networking resources and a hardware accelerator for high-performance operation.

Virtualizing Commodity Hardware: SoftNAS Virtual Storage Appliance

SoftNAS in January unveiled the beta release of its new software deployed, cloud-based virtual storage appliance that turns a customer's new or outdated hardware into a NAS appliance that securely stores mission-critical data. SoftNAS runs in cloudcomputing environments such as Amazon EC2 or on companies' existing servers virtualized using VMware ESXi/vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. It is expected to be available in February.

Flash-Based Storage Everywhere: QLogic's Mt. Ranier

QLogic in September previewed Mt. Ranier, which allows multiple servers to share their flash-based cache. Mt. Ranier increases storage performance by letting an application in one server grab data sitting in the flash storage cache of another server with nearly the same performance as if the app and data were in the same server.

Hard Drives: Helium-Filled Drives A Potentially Disruptive Tech From HGST

Western Digital HGST's September unveiling of new hard drives in which helium replaces the air inside the drives highlighted future potential hard drive development. Replacing the air with helium makes it possible to develop hard-drive capacity beyond the five-platter, 3-TB to 4-TB capacity models now coming to market while cutting the amount of power needed to spin the platters. The helium-filled disks are expected to ship this year.

Backup Storage: VMware Embeds Avamar Into vSphere

VMware in August embedded a version of EMC's Avamar backup software into its vSphere virtualization and cloud platform, breaching the technology firewall between EMC and VMware, and disrupting VMware partnerships with several small SMB data protection vendors. By embedding Avamar Virtual Edition in its vSphere 5.1, VMware users can back up a maximum of 2 TB of data free of charge.