Information Storage and Management Predictions for 2014 -By Tarun Kaura, Director, Technology Sales, India and SAARC, Symantec

download2013 has indeed been an exciting year for the Information Storage and Management market with software defined technologies becoming a mainstay of new trends. The explosion of Information has further challenged the existing solutions deployed in enterprises. IDC forecasts that the volume of digital data will grow 40 – 50 percent per year clearly indicating that Information Storage and Management will remain in vogue and a big focus area for CIOs across sectors.

With new buzzwords emerging such as Software Defined Datacenters, integrated backup appliances etc.we believe that 2014, will continue to seethese newtrends gaining momentum. As cloud based storage, backup and disaster recovery become commonplace, managing and protecting data will also be a focus area for enterprises and SMBs.

Below are the 2014 predictions for Storage and Information Management:

Rise of SoCloMo

Social media, cloud computing and mobility will continue to be disruptive and challenge businesses with an immense amount of information spread across various platforms including public clouds and mobile devices. With data levels rising, the amount of valuable information being stored in these platforms will rise causing SMBs to increase their focus on having a sound Information Management strategy in place and businesses will be tasked to discover new ways to not only protect their information, but also manage it. In the coming years, we will witness the effects of social media, cloud computing and mobility to play an important role in transforming the way Datacenters currently operate, which brings me to my next point.

Evolution of Datacenters

We, at Symantec, believe that 2014 will be the year where ‘Software Defined Everything’ will start taking shape with companies with trends such as Software Defined Storage and Software Defined Networking leading this charge. With the explosion of Information, we believe that SMBs will begin to rely more heavily on Datacenters. In order to increase overall efficiency, we will see the concept of Software Defined Datacenter, which virtualizes the server, network, and storage levels, gaining more prominence. SDDC will bring in a more efficient and centralized model of utilizing IT resources.

As part of the Software Defined Datacenter, Software Defined Storage will also be regarded as a key development in the storage space, allowing increased flexibility in how SMBs can store information Software-defined storage has the potential to spell the end of over-provisioning as storage can be allocated more accurately from a wider pool. It also frees organizations from the cost overheads associated with proprietary storage.

Increased adoption of Cloud Storage

Companies who use traditional storage have been put under pressure with increasing storage capacity requirements and costs impelled by data deluge forcing companies to now look at the cloud as more than just a buzzword. As a result, companies are increasingly warming up to the promise of deploying cloud storage in the enterprise to harness its benefits, i.e., flexibility, simplicity, fault tolerance. In Symantec’s 2013 Avoiding the Hidden Costs of the Cloud survey we found that more than 90 percent of Enterprises in India are at least discussing cloud. In 2014, we believe that Cloud Storage will become seen as a more important requirement for SMBs to better manage their information.

Integrated Backup Appliances

We will see companies replacing their traditional solutions with integrated systems such as integrated backup appliances, to deal with the vast amount of information they have, which is only set to increase in 2014.Integrated backup appliancescombine source and target deduplication, backup software, replication, snapshots, security and cloud integration in a single appliance and managed from a central location. In fact, we believe thatintegrated backup appliances are the answer to deal with the challenges of data deluge enterprises are facing today. Integrated backup appliances offer an evolution from traditional storage appliances by providing a turnkey solution to quickly deploy a proven solution.

Deduplication Everywhere

We will also see our strategy for ‘Deduplication Everywhere’ garnering prominence as it lets you choose the point in the backup process deduplication needs to be performed. It might be client deduplication, where data is deduplicated at the client/source before being sent across the network. Or it might be at the target / media server, where the data is deduplicated at the media server/target before being saved to disk or tape.

Increased focus on eDiscovery

Companies in heavily regulated sectors are mandated to electronically store information for several years. With regulatory guidelines continuing to tighten the rules around data breaches and consumer data, it is critical for companies to put eDiscovery technologies to not just store and manage information but also ensure its timely discovery and retrieval to meet compliance and governance requirements.

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