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Data Storage Forecast 2011: RAID, SSD, PCIe

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The year 2010 was a year of stagnation and consolidation in the data storage industry, beset by a down economy. The year ahead will, again, not see huge changes, according to storage expert Henry Newman.

My ten storage predictions for 2011:

There will not be huge changes next year because there has not been a great deal of investment in technology over the last two to three years. Some of the predictions below are things I expected to happen much sooner when the economy was better, and with a slight glimmer of economic improvement I am hoping these technologies will finally make it into the mainstream.

1. Declustered RAID will become mainstream

There are currently a few vendors that support declustered RAID, but with the movement to 4TB drives next year and increasingly larger and larger storage environments this will become a standard across the industry.Of course, it is a “buyer beware” situation, and you can expect an article from me on this topic next year.

2. Large RAID vendors will support FCoE targets

I hoped this would have come sooner, but it cannot be too far from realization in the market. FCoE and Ethernet will dominate the market and Fibre Channel will be relegated to legacy environments.

3. PCIe 3.0 hits the market, but no 16-lane slots or cards

PCIe 3.0 doubles performance over PCIe 2.0 per lane, and today even mid-range motherboards have PCIe 2.0 16-lane slots. In 2011 we will not see performance per lane double for PCIe 3.0 but we will just have 8-lane slots on motherboards and 8-lane cards. Given that CPU and memory bandwidth performance has significantly increased, the lack of PCIe bus bandwidth increase in 2011 will impact I/O performance, and what might be hurt most is PCIe-based SSDs.

4. SSDs will achieve 2,000,000 IOPS performance

PCIe-based SSDs recently hit the one million IOPS mark and it is likely that two million IOPS will be possible next year.

Read the rest at Enterprise Storage Forum.

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