The market outlook for disk archiving appliances has become decidedly muted.
One potentially encouraging sign for the archive appliance market was the May release of Dell Inc.'s DX Object Storage system. The product uses Caringo Inc.'s CAStor archiving software, and Dell partners with archiving software vendors such as Iron Mountain Inc.'s Mimosa Systems.Still, analysts and consultants expect cloud-based archive services, with their promise of ease of management and unlimited capacity, to exert more pressure on archive appliances. Brian Babineau, a senior consulting analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, predicted that IT shops will take a hybrid approach to archiving, with a mix of separate software, cloud services and an appliance. "It will probably be a mash-up of all three, where I have my software doing the work, an appliance that just stores a small amount of data and then the cloud being my longer-term storage," Babineau said. "Right now, we see people looking at all three models for different reasons, and the good news is that three choices usually mean the economics favor the customer."