I'll spare you another round of forecasts about what might and might not happen in the storage industry in 2014, there have been plenty of those lists published in the past couple weeks!
Instead, let me summarize a couple noteworthy news for you - which of course is also a way to hint at what -I personally believe- will be important trends in 2014!
One battle certainly to continue is the battle over the control over storage or rather the "location of the intelligence" in storage: remember 10 years ago: common wisdom was that most of the intelligence would be located in the SAN and the back-end storage would be mere commodity (EMC Invista!). Well, it turned out that customers preferred to invest in sophisticated storage controllers while the network became a commodity...
Fast forward to 2013: There is a lot of hype around SDS (Software Defined Storage), which would relegate the "intelligence" to some "open source" storage controller running on a commodity server.
Hypervisor vendors like VMware and Microsoft on the other hand are integrating more of the storage controls into their hypervisors and hope to make storage intelligence obsolete. And obviously related to that is the discussion and battle about block or file access to storage.
The article here outlines reasons why VMware needs to step up efforts on NFS!
But watch out, on the block side of the protocol segment, the FCIA is finalizing 32Gbps Fibre Channel - or Gen6 Fibre Channel as they are going to call it.
According to "The Register", 2013 was the year "..when Google made Tape cool again"!
Now there is more exciting news to be expected in 2014: Read this summary from the Fujitsu "IT Global Summit" and the "Nanocubic coating" being introduced for magnetic tape!
So watch this space for announcements from IBM during 2014!
Talking about IBM, there's two recent news that clearly show the direction my company is taking: First, the beta availability of ICStore, a unique implementation of "cloud gateway" technology for our Storwize platform providing data protection " ..that will allow organizations to use multiple cloud storage services interchangeably, reducing dependence on any single cloud vendor and ensuring that data remains available even during service outages."
And second, the rollout of WaaS ("Watson as a Service") in late 2013:
“The next generation will look back and see 2013 as a year of monumental change,” said Stephen Gold, vice president of the Watson project at IBM.
“This is the start of a shift in the way people interact with computers.”
IBM is wielding Watson in a fight to control the world of cloud computing — huge collections of computer servers connected over the Internet — with other big technology companies like Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft. It is no coincidence that IBM discussed its Watson news the same week Amazon was hosting clients at a conference here to pitch its own computing cloud, called Amazon Web Services or A.W.S."
This is definitely a key element of IBM's plans to resume revenue growth in 2014!
And by the way: Probably the last acquisition IBM made in 2013 is immediately related to cloud services: Aspera, a company with ".. an Emmy-award-winning, high-speed bulk data transfer protocol."
So all the best to you for 2014 and let's hope that the European economy continues on the positive trend that we seem to have started in Q3 2013!