Year in review: Backup, virtual storage, cloud storage, SSD

Find out how the markets for backup, virtual storage, cloud and SSD have evolved over the past year, and what may be in store for the future.

Backup 2012: Backup Exec woes, appliances rise, Dell's 'Quest'

Symantec learned a powerful lesson in 2012: Don't mess with the user interface of a popular backup product unless you are sure your customers want change. The vendor released Backup Exec 2012 early in the year, and is still digging out of the resulting mess as the year closes. The perils of Backup Exec were all over the backup news in 2012.

Dell and Hewlett-Packard extended their reach in data protection in 2012. So did the cloud -- especially in regards to disaster recovery (DR) and end-point device backup. And integrated backup appliances that replace the need for media servers and backup targets also gained a foothold.

Read the full story on how backup evolved in 2012.

Virtual storage 2012: VDI, VM-aware and software dominate news

The biggest news stories of 2012 about storage for virtual environments and storage virtualization involved using storage better for virtual desktops and servers. Software, particularly for virtual appliances, was also big news, but old-fashioned storage virtualization systems have stuck around too.

At many companies, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology went from the test and development phase to successful implementations this year, largely because those companies solved their VDI storage problems.

Storage vendors are offering reference architectures and benchmarks for VDI deployments using their products alongside those of computing and networking partners. Increased use of solid-state storage is also improving user acceptance of VDI.

Read the full story to find out how the virtual storage world changed in 2012.

Cloud storage 2012: Microsoft opens gate, file sharing proliferates

There was plenty of cloud news to cover in 2012, with online file sharing ubiquitous, Microsoft ascending, Amazon's Glacier emerging and object storage building.

The online file sharing market gained a lot of buzz this year through helping employees access files from mobile devices at any location.

It has become a crowded space, with an estimated 40-plus dedicated file sharing and syncing products and services. That vendor list includes Box Inc., Citrix Systems Inc.'s ShareFile, Dropbox Inc., Egnyte Inc., Nomadix Inc., SugarSync Inc., YouSendIt Inc. and Maginatics Inc., which came out of stealth in August. Most of these companies offer dedicated products that allow workers to access data from PCs, smartphones, iPads and tablets, but the market is getting enough attention that other vendors are joining in.

Read the full story to learn about this year in cloud storage.

SSD 2012: All-flash arrays, MLC, PCIe cards take center stage

Enterprise solid-state storage spilled into many areas in 2012, with all-flash solid-state arrays, multi-level cell and server-side flash taking the technology into the enterprise.

So far it's been a field dominated by startups, but all-flash arrays proliferated in 2012. By the end of the year, Nimbus Data, Violin Memory, Pure Storage, SolidFire, Kaminario, Whiptail, Tegile Systems and Skyera had all-flash arrays on the market.

And the large vendors are also jumping in. IBM acquired Texas Memory Systems and EMC bought in-stealth XtremeIO in two of the largest storage acquisitions in 2012. NetApp and Hitachi Data Systems are planning all-flash arrays, and Hewlett-Packard sells all-flash versions of its StoreServ (3PAR) and StoreVirtual (LeftHand) arrays.

Read the full story to find about the popularity of SSDs in 2012.

EMC Atmos storage cloud gets new hardware, native Amazon S3 support

EMC last week launched its upgraded Atmos storage platform, including a new hardware system and native support for the Amazon S3 API to help customers migrate data to an Atmos cloud.

Atmos is EMC's cloud platform for large service providers and enterprises that build private storage clouds. The new Atmos G3-Dense-480 hardware system is the first in the G3 series based on Intel x86-based architecture while offering 10 Gigabit Ethernet network connections. The devices support 60 disks per node with either four, six or eight nodes in a configuration. The system holds 1 TB, 2 TB or 3 TB SATA drives.

A 40U rack fully loaded with 3 TB drives scales to 1.4 petabytes. The 480 replaces the WS2-360 model, which was the largest of the previous series.

Read the full story on the updates to EMC's Atmos storage cloud.

Unitrends 7 lights a fire with 'hot-hot' off-site replication

Backup appliance vendor Unitrends last week upgraded its software with a revamped "hot-hot" off-site replication process designed for quicker restores at a disaster recovery site.

Unitrends software works across the company's integrated backup appliances that cover the market from small and medium-sized businesses to small enterprises. It also sells its software as virtual appliances for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Mark Campbell, Unitrends' chief strategy and technology officer, said the new version comes 18 months after the product team decided it had to streamline its off-site replication process. Hot-hot replication is the major addition to Unitrends 7.

Read the full story on Unitrends' upgrades to its backup software.

QLogic adds top tier to its Signature Partner Program

QLogic Corp. last week announced the addition of a top-level tier to its partner program.

The Advanced Solutions Partner tier will receive all the same benefits as QLogic Platinum Partners plus access to targeted marketing, sales and technical enablement programs. They will have access to in-depth technical and sales training; qualified end-user leads; dedicated technical sales support; access to QLogic's Solutions lab; and early access to demonstration units and beta testing programs.

Additionally, partners at the Gold and Platinum tiers of the Signature Partner Program will now have access to prequalified leads based on a partner's addressable core market and vertical market expertise, as well as increased access to a dedicated sales account managers.

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