Hot technologies for 2007

iSCSI SANs, hardware-based tape encryption, high-capacity disk drives, virtualization and thin provisioning will be must-have technologies next year.

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Storage standards to watch in 2007

If the storage industry is anything, it's dynamic. But some things never change: the need for more storage capacity and the endless search for better, less tedious ways to protect data.

Storage magazine's editors have reviewed technology developments, product introductions and storage standards (see "Storage standards to watch in 2007") over this past year to identify those we expect will become the hot storage technologies in 2007. Some of these technologies, like iSCSI SANs and virtualization, have appeared in these pages for years. This coming year, however, both appear poised to cross a major threshold. Other selections, like hardware-based tape encryption, are based on new technologies that attempt to address a single issue: stemming the tide of identify theft and misappropriation of corporate secrets resulting from lost data tapes.

Thin provisioning, long championed by a single storage system vendor, 3PAR, has gained the attention of many more vendors and is showing up in more products. We expect thin provisioning to become an essential disk-array feature because it saves money by avoiding the need to overbuy storage. Disk-drive technology continues to defy predictions of how much data can be packed onto a disk. The storage industry will introduce 1TB disk drives in 2007 and even greater capacity drives will follow soon after. Other new technologies--data deduplication, continuous data protection (CDP), data classification and information lifecycle management (ILM)--look promising, but need more time to mature and gain acceptance (see "Not hot in 2007").

Our picks for the hot storage technologies in 2007 follow. Specific vendor or product references are representative examples of each category.

This was first published in December 2006

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