Research Report. Abstract: Scale-out Storage Market Forecast February By Terri McClure

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1 Research Report Abstract: Scale-out Storage Market Forecast By Terri McClure February Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2 Market Forecast Overview Forecast Scope Designed as a companion publication to ESG s recent research report on scale-out storage market trends, ESG has created a scale-out storage market forecast defined as ESG s estimate of the total, worldwide annual capacity and revenue associated with scale-out storage in the commercial and government sectors through the year Introduction The core architectures of external enterprise storage solutions have gone largely unchanged for the past 20 years. The technology surrounding storage systems, however, has evolved, shifting from bus and tag to SCSI and then to Fibre Channel and IP, and from DAS to SAN and NAS. But core architectures have primarily been classified in two ways: as modular and monolithic. Both are fixed-scale systems in which capacity in the form of disk spindles (either HDD or solid state) are added to a single- or dual-controller system until the maximum capacity is met, at which point a new discrete system is added to increase capacity. Monolithic systems typically support open systems and mainframe environments; they are massive, enclosed in a proprietary data center rack with a built-in controller (single or dual) that fills with disks over time. Modular systems have one or two controller modules and selfcontained shelves of disks housed in and added to a standard data center rack to increase capacity. Users manage both physical disks and logical representations of disks (LUNs) in these systems for data layout, performance tuning, and capacity management and expansion. Scale-out storage systems overcome the physical boundaries of racks and modules to create virtualized systems that can scale front-end processing power as well as back-end capacity by adding new processor or capacity nodes while still functioning as a single system. They often don t need the levels of individual physical disk management, data layout, and performance tuning required by traditional monolithic and modular systems. Consequently, scale-out platforms can provide a path to both increased performance and operational cost reduction benefits that are increasingly putting these systems on the radars of enterprise IT buyers. Scale-out solutions can typically expand into the multi-petabyte range under a single system image, providing an ideal platform for storage consolidation. They help IT reduce management costs and data center equipment footprint, which reduces floor space and power and cooling costs. Finally, increased storage consolidation onto a shared resource means utilization rates are higher, so users get more bang for their storage buck. Scale-out Storage Defined As is the case with many emerging technologies, arriving at a standard definition of scale-out storage that is broadly accepted by all industry participants can be elusive. However, for the purposes of this forecast, ESG is using the following definition of scale-out storage which ESG believes encompasses many of the core concepts of scale-out architectures: Scale-out storage solutions increase performance, capacity, or throughput by adding resources (e.g., processors, memory, host interfaces) as a loosely coupled system composed of nodes that work side-by-side, in parallel. This differs from traditional scale-up storage solutions which increase performance, capacity, or throughput by adding resources within a tightly coupled system that shares a common pool of resources that work together, in tandem. Figure 1 offers a visual representation of the difference between scale-up and scale-out storage.

3 Figure 1. Scale-up vs. Scale-out Storage Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, Readers should note that as scale-out architectures have matured and become more mainstream in both block- and file-based storage systems, the line between scale-up and scale-out has started to blur. There are systems on the market that can scale in multiple dimensions up, out, and linearly to provide a flexible and best of all worlds approach. ESG includes those platforms that scale in multiple dimensions (i.e., scale-up and/or scale-out) in its overall scale-out definition since it is ESG s experience that users consider them to be scale-out. Because of these various architectural approaches it is, therefore, difficult for some technologies and products to be easily classified into a specific category. In such cases, ESG weighs the features and functions to determine if a system is more heavily weighted towards scale-up or scale-out and classifies the system accordingly. In addition, ESG believes that while most scale-out systems are currently dedicated to supporting either block or file protocols, these platforms will follow in the footsteps of today s scale-up systems and offer multiprotocol support at some point. Therefore, ESG did not forecast NAS (file) and SAN (block) separately as these distinctions will become moot over time.

4 Contents List of Figures... 3 Executive Summary... 4 Report Conclusions... 5 Market Forecast Overview... 6 Introduction... 6 Scale-out Storage Defined... 6 Forecast Scope... 8 Forecast Assumptions... 8 Research Findings Forecast Highlights Appendix: Supporting Data... 15

5 List of Figures Figure 1. Scale-up vs. Scale-out Storage... 7 Figure 2. Forecasted Scale-out Capacity Shipped, Figure 3. Scale-out Capacity vs. Non-Scale-out and Total Networked Storage Addressable Market Figure 4. Scale-out Storage Capacity as Percent of Total, Figure 5. Forecasted Scale-out Revenue, Figure 6. Scale-out Revenue vs. Non-Scale-out and Total Networked Storage Addressable Market Figure 7. Scale-out Storage Revenue as Percent of Total, Figure 8. Use of Scale-out Storage Architectures Figure 9. Use of Scale-out Storage Architectures, by Industry Figure 10. Most Important 2011 IT Priorities Figure 11. Storage Requirements for Server Virtualization Environments Figure 12. Why Organizations Have No Plans/Interest in Scale-out Storage All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of the Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. Copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at (508)

6 20 Asylum Street Milford, MA Tel: Fax:

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