Data Storage Forecast: Mostly Cloudy

Same3Guys IT Pro Show

6,000 of my IT brethren from 103 countries have gathered here in Las Vegas this week for the annual EMC storage conference. The theme of this year’s EMC World is “Cloud Meets Big Data”. Most of us have heard all about cloud in the last few years. It is one of the most hyped terms in IT these days; right up there with virtualization. But what is ‘big data’, you ask? Think of it as the massive accumulation of data that results from social networking sites like twitter and Facebook or video streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. If you want more, check out the Wikipedia entry here.

EMC Chairman Joe Tucci took the stage during Monday’s keynote address to share some staggering information about the amount of data that exists in this digital age. By the end of this decade, we will have 35 ZETTAbytes of storage with which to contend. That is the equivalent of one billion terabytes. Consider that we started the decade with 0.8 ZB and you will quickly gain a perspective for the amount of growth we are talking about here.

But the average IT organization is only expected to grow it’s staff by 47% during this same timeframe. So how are IT professionals supposed to go about handling this? Well, this is where the cloud comes in, according to Mr. Tucci. With “IT as a Service” companies will be better able to deliver agility, automation and efficiency back to their business.

With greater than 50% of enterprises either planning or currently working on private cloud initiatives, it’s evident that IT leadership understands the challenge at hand. Over the next four days, EMC will share their vision for how storage professionals and cloud architects can rise to that challenge by embracing the evolutions in storage giant’s vast catalog of hardware and software products.

The forecast calls for cloudy days ahead. But that may not be so bad.