the SSD Buyers Guide - click to see article
SSD buyers guide
the fastest SSDs - click to read article
the fastest SSDs
After SSDs... What Next? ..
After SSDs... What Next?

enterprise buyers guides since 1991

storage search
"leading the way to the new storage frontier"

7 Years of - looking back / looking ahead

the editor hard at work
Megabyte liked to jot down his thoughts
before editorial planning meetings.
September 1, 2005 by Zsolt Kerekes, editor
See also:- Storage History
Can you trust your flash SSD's specs?
Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?
the cultivation and nurturing of "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD brand celebrated its 7th anniversary this month. In an age when most IT web sites are blurring into sameness, STORAGEsearch has maintained a unique brand identity with its cartoon characters Megabyte the Mouse and family. But reliable information and critical market analysis have also been important factors in growing the readership every year since 1998.
SSD ad - click for more info

What are the 3 most important trends in storage during the last 7 years?

Network storage - which once used to be the exclusive domain of large organizations or those involved in the print business has come to every size of organization including the home. The technological factor which democratized network storage was the market swing vote from fibre-channel SAN to IP SAN. As ethernets got faster users found they could do a lot of useful storage networking with NAS devices on networks they already had. More recently the increased standardization of iSCSI offers the promise of performance on these IP SANs equal to that of the harder to manage proprietary SANs.

Backup media - we've started to see a fundamental shift away from tape backup towards disk to disk backup. Early software support for this process was crude. But newer products are taking the best paradigms from both technologies and merging them. So tape will not disappear from the storage lexicon - but it may live on in the form of virtual tape libraries.

Semiconductor storage - the flash memory market, which started out supplying the boot firmware chips embedded in products and PC motherboards has come out of the closet and become a multi billion dollar consumer industry. Appearing in dozens of form factors from keyrings and cards to hard disk lookalikes - the flash market which has been growing at close to 100% per annum in recent years has outgrown its original home and has been sighted on a worldwide tour of locations including cameras, portable music players and mobile phones.

What are going to be the 3 most important trends in storage during the next 7 years?

Compliance and security - if your organization operates by managing and interpreting data - then the governement, legal authorities and your customers care about the security, tracability and accuracy of that data. For legal reasons - to protect themselves - data owners will eventually have to provide an audit trail from the moment of capture or datum creation upto past the point where the data no longer has a day to day commercial utility. (Maybe even retaining records years or decades after the customer or data subject has died.) Today we're starting to see piece-meal approaches to tackling this problem. Add to that - the cost implications and technical considerations involved in retaining data through many lifetimes of server and storage media hardware - something which most of us have never had to do before. These problems can only be dealt with by virtualization products which become industry standards. Is this a role for Microsoft a Unix company or a new type of software company? In the past operating systems have not had to include a 30 to 50 year backward and forward product compatibility in their design.

Reliability - as network storage domains get bigger - the probability of failure - unlike that of winning the lottery - is going to become more frequent. Whether you count failure as due to a media component failure, an unrecoverable RAID system failure, a virus or new software installation induced failure or flooding of the servers in a branch office - the old paradigm of manually detecting faults and then reacting to them afterwards won't be good enough any more. Users will have to assume that their storage is constantly breaking down - sometimes in subtle quantum ways. Therefore software and other corrective automatic systems will have to live in the storage network constantly testing, healing and repairing. I've talked to many storage manufacturers about the upcoming reliability problem - which could be more serious than the Y2K bug threat - if not dealt with in advance.

Solid state disks - in recent years solid state disks have started to impact storage architectures at the lowest and the highest price points. At the low end - replacing functions traditionally implemented by hard disk drives, at the high end replacing CPUs and servers by speeding up storage bound applications. This is already a multi billion dollar market - but in the next 3 years it will grow by a factor of 5 of more.

At the low end - consumers will soon be able to order notebook PCs which include SSDs which replace or work in tandem with hard disk drives. The result will be faster operation, lower weight and longer battery operation.

At the high end as the SSD industry manages its transition from being a technical sales force led industrial / military market to a marketing led commercial market - it will become easier for users to understand the cost benefits of making their next server upgrade - a storage upgrade instead.

What's going to happen in the meantime?

Which old technologies will be discarded and which new ones will become the hot products of tomorrow? We have many articles which speculate on this - but the only sure way to find out is to keep visiting the news pages of to see how this exciting future unfolds. ...ACSL (publisher) profile,, Storage portals

...Later:- the above article was published in 2005 to celebrate the 7th anniversary of The long term predictions published then still represent our thinking a year later, in Sept 2006, as we celebrate the 8th year of the mouse site.

Here are some other popular articles which you may be interested in reading:- is ?? Years Old

Editor:- was first published in September 1998. Here's the original press release which went out at the time.

September 30, 1998 - ACSL, publisher of the SPARC Product Directory, launched, a new Web directory for locating computer storage products for all major platforms.

"Our customers in the Sun market have been asking us to produce a cross platform directory like for many years," said Zsolt Kerekes, publisher of "Using the experience from our SPARC Web site,, we expect to achieve in six months something which took us six years to do in the Sun market. In other words to become the Number One directory in this subject area."

...Later:- For a publisher which had been exclusively focused on the Sun market since 1991, this seemed like a step into the great unknown. But we had already been covering storage products for many years, and our customers had been asking us to do a separate storage publication since the mid 90s.

I launched with just 4 main product categories:- RAID systems, RAM, SCSI adapter cards and hard drives. The plan was to roll out new categories every month, but make sure that each category was complete as it became visible. So, for example - the 1998 RAID page listed 51 manufacturers. I estimated in 1998 there were about 250 to 300 storage manufacturers.

In 1998 most people didn't think of the storage market as a single market. But within a few years other online storage publications also started to appear as their publishers hoped to cash in on the dotcom advertising boom.

Today (with over 1 million annual readers) tracks over 1,000 storage companies in a market which was over $150 billion in revenue in 2005.

See also:- storage history

Squeak! - Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market

Squeak! - Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?
read the article - Why are Most Analysts  Wrong About Solid State Disks?
Most analysts and editors of other computer publications don't really understand the solid state disk market.

They show their ignorance and naivete by prefacing every discussion of SSDs with a superficial analysis which compares the cost per byte of storage between flash and hard disk drives. That's the wrong answer to the wrong question. And it's far removed from why the SSD market is racing to become a multi billion dollar market seemingly in blithe ignorance of the cost per byte proposition.

This article tells you what's important to users and the main applications in which SSDs are already being used and new applications where they will be used in the next 3 years. the article, Solid State Disks

storage search banner