One of 2013's sizzling buzzwords (big data) loses its snap without the word "data"—and nowadays data is Big-with-a-capital-B. As social media becomes the information autobahn for so many (especially those who get twitchy after an hour without Facebook access) data volumes pile ever higher.
Much social media data consists of snapshots of your lunch or pictures of your friend's kitten, but social media players must store it. This has led to a boom in "cold storage": files that are seldom if ever accessed, but can't be trashed. Vast data centers hold the data (estimated at over 80% of Facebook's total database) nobody accesses, but social media enterprises must preserve. This is a growing sub-sector of the enterprise storage market: cold storage.
But storage is still hot: big data and cloud are fundamental tools for many Hong Kong enterprises now. A 2013 report from research firm IDC states: "As demand for big data technology and services continues to escalate, all levels of the big data technology stack will experience significant growth."
Trends in 2013
"This past year has witnessed emerging trends such as cloud and big data—trends which have significantly transformed the IT landscape," said Gabriel Leung, general manager, EMC, Hong Kong and Macau. "More companies are starting their cloud journey, encouraged by the increase in productivity and cost effectiveness that comes with the tech, and that's proof that the 'cloud concept' was never just a marketing gimmick."
"Given the continuous evolution of the IT infrastructure, trust in IT becomes increasingly important as it not only protects against cyberthreats, but also puts in place a comprehensive system of governance to ensure the whole architecture complies with specified standards," said Leung.
Continued data growth
Leung said that the ability to use the data generated from continued growth of mobile, social and big data analytics tops their agenda of Hong Kong enterprise users.
"A healthy subset of CIOs realize this is a big opportunity and want to make use of the vast amount of information already collected and at hand," he said, added that this "is triggering a turning point in the industry."
"Storage is a critical piece of the infrastructure component, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53% between 2011 and 2016," said the IDC report. "Storage will be one of the biggest areas of infrastructure spending for big data and analytics environments over the forecast period," said Ashish Nadkarni, research director, storage systems, IDC.
"Software-defined storage products such as ViPR, and emerging storage solutions including flash and scale-out storage, have seen solid demand this year," said Leung.
"Consulting services for virtualization planning of data centers is also one of the hottest needs in the market." Growth will come largely from capacity-optimized systems (including dense enclosures), said Nadkarni, adding that "software-based distributed storage systems with internal disks to store post-processed data will also be embraced by some users."
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