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NetApp's Kidd predicts 2013 storage trends; cloud storage prices cut

Find out what NetApp's chief technology officer Jay Kidd sees being the biggest trends in storage for next year.

NetApp's Kidd sees cloud, flash as most prominent data storage trends

As NetApp's chief technology officer, Jay Kidd is responsible for the storage vendor's overall technology direction. We spoke with Kidd about what he sees as the top data storage trends for 2013, particularly around clustered storage, virtualization, flash and the cloud.

What are the major data storage trends you see for 2013?

Jay Kidd: I think the IT world can usually support one revolution at a time, and for the last few years virtualization has been the revolution. Now flash and cloud are building on top of virtualization for a perfect storm of revolutions.

Virtualization is no longer a disrupter, but it was three or four years ago, and it's still finding its way through the system as everybody exploits it more aggressively. Flash is a disrupter on a lot of levels, in terms of changing architectures in servers and storage.

We're also seeing cloud-scale IT and 'IT as a Service' emerging as a viable alternative for CIOs to pursue. That is causing a mindset shift for IT pros, even inside companies who now have to think like service providers to effectively compete with external server providers. This is a disrupter on the people side as well as the operations side.

Read the full interview with Jay Kidd.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft cut cloud storage prices again

For the second time this year, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Google Cloud Storage and Microsoft Windows Azure dropped their cloud storage prices in lock-step over the past few weeks.

Analysts said these drops come as the three providers battle for relevance and to gain as many early cloud adopters as possible with the expectation that customers will not want to move their data after they put it in the cloud.

"It's definitely a race, but it's a land grab," said Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). "The race is to the bottom to get more data into the cloud. They are trying to accelerate adoption because the service is very sticky. Once data is in the cloud, it's hard to switch providers."

Read the full story on the drop in cloud storage prices.

Investment firm Audax Group revamps data protection system with Actifio

Investment firm Audax Group turned to startup Actifio to streamline its data protection system, and then used its new setup to swap the roles of its main data center and colocation site to increase availability.

The Audax Group uses Actifio's Product and Availability Storage (PAS) appliances to protect financial and research data for the companies it invests in, as well as those it is considering investing in. The Audax Group implemented Actifio in early 2012 as a replacement for its Symantec Backup Exec software, CA's XOsoft WANSync, Vision Solutions' Double-Take host-based replication and tape drives.

Actifio uses what it calls "copy data management" to keep all backup, disaster recovery, business continuity and test/development data on its PAS appliances. The Audax Group installed one PAS system at its main data center in Boston and the other at its colocation site 30 miles away in Massachusetts, with 20 TB of licensed capacity on each appliance.

Read the full story to find out how Audax Group used Actifio data protection to enhance its environment.

CDP, quarterly DR test keeps engineering firm ready for any disaster

Hurricane Sandy missed Strand Associates' Midwest offices, but the engineering firm was prepared for the worst, thanks to a disaster recovery plan that survived Hurricane Ike a few years back, and a regular DR test.

Strand's storage architect Justin Bell said he recognized the same problems in East Coast companies hit by Sandy as his firm experienced when Ike took out one of its Ohio offices in 2008.

"With Sandy, we saw some places were flooded, but the vast majority of sites had problems because they were without power for so long," Bell said. "The major impact was lack of power."

Read the full story to find out how an engineering firm used DR tests to prepare for Hurricane Sandy.

IDC: Spending on data protection software rises

Organizations are taking a closer look at their disaster recovery operations, as spending on data protection software and recovery software rose to more than $1 billion during the third quarter of 2012, according to an IDC study.

According to the company's Worldwide Storage Software QView, revenue for data protection software and recovery software rose by 4.3% over the same point in 2011, climbing to $1.24 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue on storage software rose by 1.4% over the same period, reaching $3.46 billion. EMC, Symantec and IBM remained at the top, with EMC claiming more than a quarter (25.3%) of the storage software industry's market share, according to IDC. Symantec and IBM had 14.8% and 14.7% market shares, respectively.

Read the full story for more of IDC's findings about data protection spending in 2012.

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