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2014

Is there an information or data recession? Are you using less storage? (With Polls)

StorageIO industry trends

Is there an information recession where you are creating, processing, moving or saving less data?

Are you using less data storage than in the past either locally online, offline or remote including via clouds?

IMHO there is no such thing as a data or information recession, granted storage is being used more effectively by some, while economic pressures or competition enables your budgets to be stretched further. Likewise people and data are living longer and getting larger.

In conversations with IT professionals particular the real customers (e.g. not vendors, VAR's, analysts, blogalysts, consultants or media) I routinely hear from people that they continue to have the need to store more information, however they're data storage usage and acquisition patterns are changing. For some this means using what they have more effectively leveraging data footprint reduction (DFR) which includes (archiving, compression, dedupe, thin provision, changing how and when data is protected). This also means using different types of storage from flash SSD to HDD to SSHD to tape as well as cloud in different ways spanning block, file and object storage local and remote.

A common question that comes up particular around vendor earnings announcement times is if the data storage industry is in decline with some vendors experience poor results?

Look beyond vendor revenue metrics

As a back ground reading, you might want to check out this post here (IT and storage economics 101, supply and demand) which candidly should be common sense.

If all you looked at were a vendors revenues or margin numbers as an indicator of how well such as the data storage industry (includes traditional, legacy as well as cloud) you would not be getting the picture.

What needs to be factored into the picture is how much storage is being shipped (from components such as drives to systems and appliances) as well as delivered by service providers.

Looking at storage systems vendors from a revenue earnings perspective you would get mixed indicators depending on who you include, not to mention on how those vendors report break of revenues by product, or amount units shipped. For example looking at public vendors EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp, Nimble and Oracle (among others) as well as the private ones (if you can see the data) such as Dell, Pure, Simplivity, Solidfire, Tintri results in different analysis. Some are doing better than others on revenues and margins, however try to get clarity on number of units or systems shipped (for actual revenue vs. loaners (planting seeds for future revenue or trials) or demos).

Then look at the service providers such as AWS, Centurlylink, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft Rackspace or Verizon (among others) you should see growth, however clarity about how much they are actually generating on revenues plus margin for storage specific vs. broad general buckets can be tricky.

Now look at the component suppliers such as Seagate and Western Digital (WD) for HDDs and SSHDs who also provide flash SSD drives and other technology. Also look at the other flash component suppliers such as Avago/LSI whose flash business is being bought by Seagate, FusionIO, SANdisk, Samsung, Micron and Intel among others (this does not include the systems vendors who OEM those or other products to build systems or appliances). These and other component suppliers can give another indicator as to the health of the industry both from revenue and margin, as well as footprint (e.g. how many devices are being shipped). For example the legacy and startup storage systems and appliance vendors may have soft or lower revenue numbers, however are they shipping the same or less product? Likewise the cloud or service providers may be showing more revenues and product being acquired however at what margin?

What this all means?

Growing amounts of information?

Look at revenue numbers in the proper context as well as in the bigger picture.

If the same number of component devices (e.g. processors, HDD, SSD, SSHD, memory, etc) are being shipped or more, that is an indicator of continued or increased demand. Likewise if there is more competition and options for IT organizations there will be price competition between vendors as well as service providers.

All of this means that while IT organizations budgets stay stretched, their available dollars or euros should be able to buy (or rent) them more storage space capacity.

Likewise using various data and storage management techniques including DFR, the available space capacity can be stretched further.

So this then begs the question of if the management of storage is important, why are we not hearing vendors talking about software defined storage management vs. chasing each other to out software define storage each other?

Ah, that's for a different post ;).

So what say you?

Are you using less storage?

Do you have less data being created?

Are you using storage and your available budget more effectively?

Please take a few minutes and cast your vote (and see the results).

Sorry I have no Amex or Amazon gift cards or other things to offer you as a giveaway for participating as nobody is secretly sponsoring this poll or post, it's simply sharing and conveying information for you and others to see and gain insight from.

 

Is there an information or data recession? (Click here to view poll and cast your vote)

 

How about are you using or buying more storage, could there be a data storage recession?  (Click here to view poll and cast your vote)

 

Some more reading links

IT and storage economics 101, supply and demand
Green IT deferral blamed on economic recession might be result of green gap
  Industry trend: People plus data are aging and living longer
  Is There a Data and I/O Activity Recession?
  Supporting IT growth demand during economic uncertain times
  The Human Face of Big Data, a Book Review
  Garbage data in, garbage information out, big data or big garbage?
  Little data, big data and very big data (VBD) or big BS?

Ok, nuff said (for now)

Cheers gs

AWS adds Zocalo Enterprise File Sync Share and Collaboration

In case you missed it today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Zocalo an enterprise class storage and file sharing service. As you might have guessed, by being file sync and share of cloud storage Zocalo can be seen as a competitor or option to other services including Box, Dropbox and Google among many others in the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) space.

Amazon Zocalo enterprise storage and sharing service

AWS Enterprise File Sync Share (EFSS) Zocalo overview and summary:

  • Document collaboration (Comments and sharing) including available with AWS WorkSpaces
  • Central common hub for sharing documents along with those owned by a user
  • Select AWS regions where data is stored, along with set up users polices and audit trails
  • Sharing of various types of documents, worksheets, web pages, presentations, text and PDF among other files
  • Support for Windows and other PCs, Macs, tablets and other mobile devices
  • Cost effective (priced at $5 per user per month for 200GB of storage)
  • Free 30 day trial for up to 50 users each with 200GB (e.g. 10TB)
  • Secure leveraging existing AWS regions and tools (encryption in transit and while at rest)
  • Active directory credentials integration

Learn more in the Zocalo FAQ found here

Register for the limited free Zocalo trial here

Additional Zocalo product details can be found here

AWS also announced as part of its Mobile Services Cognito a mobile service for simple user identity and data synchronization, along with SNS, Mobile  Analytics and other enhancements. Learn more about AWS Cognito here and Mobile Services here.

Check out other AWS updates, news and enhancements here

Ok, nuff said

Cheers
gs