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Hot technologies for 2011

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For instance, Compellent Technologies Inc., which in 2005 pioneered block-level automated tiering, can move data in page sizes of 512 KB, 2 MB or 4 MB, depending on the user's needs. Compellent also touts its integration with features such as thin provisioning, boot from storage-area network (SAN), pointer-based snapshots and remote replication.

In 2009, EMC Corp. began shipping its Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology for its high-end Symmetrix V-Max, Clariion midrange systems and Celerra NAS boxes. Symmetrix can move data in sub-megabyte chunks, Clariion does it in 1 GB chunks and Celerra performs this task at the individual file level. EMC's future plans include automated tiering capabilities between arrays, rather than simply within arrays, according to Scott Delandy, a senior product manager at EMC.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), which began offering volume-based automated tiering in 2006, recently introduced 42 MB page-based automated tiering (known as Hitachi Dynamic Tiering) for its Virtual Storage Platform (VSP). HDS plans to offer page-based automated tiering for external third-party storage early in 2011.

"We're in the early stages," said Richard Villars, vice president, storage systems and executive strategies at IDC in Framingham, Mass. "Thin provisioning two years ago was seen as sort of a risky thing, and now it's almost a de facto requirement especially in virtualized environments. I think you'll

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see automated tiering is going to be the same thing, in about the same cycle, over the next two years or so."

2. Data reduction in primary storage

Primary storage data reduction is back from our 2010 Hot Technologies list, which means we were a year early in our last predictions. But maybe we weren't so far off as it was a hot topic in 2010 for vendors positioning themselves to deliver the technology. In 2011, we'll see a lot more of primary data reduction in shipping products.

Primary data reduction has taken one large step toward becoming mainstream by going from a technology provided mainly by startups to one dominated by major vendors. In 2010, Dell Inc. acquired primary data deduplication vendor Ocarina Networks and IBM bought primary compression vendor Storwize Inc. EMC delivered block-level compression for its Clariion midrange storage systems and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. said it would expand its StoreOnce dedupe software from backup to primary data beginning with its X9000 scale-out NAS product.

Permabit Technology Corp. struck OEM deals for its embedded deduplication software with NAS vendors BlueArc Corp. and Xiotech Corp. Permabit CEO Tom Cook said more partnerships are coming.

This was first published in December 2010

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