Online giant Amazon said it is to offer unlimited cloud storage, offering two plans for people who want to upload vast collections of media that they have.
The first is called the Unlimited Photos Plan – it comes with a free three month trial, then a subscription of $12 a year – this lets you store as many photographs as you like on the Amazon Cloud and includes 5GB of extra storage for videos, documents or other files.
The second is called the Unlimited Everything Plan – this also comes with a three month trial at no charge then a subscription of $60 a year. As the name implies, it lets you store all of your stuff in Cloud Drive.
Existing members with a Prime subscription already can use unlimited photo storage but can add a subscription to the Unlimited plan to store everything else too.
Amazon is now a considerable player in the IT business – although many people can buy CDs, books and the like – it also offers services for enterprise players too, particularly in the cloud.
The market for customised backup appliances reached $1 billion worldwide in the fourth quarter of last year.
This market represents standalone disk products that use software, disk arrays, server engines, and more specifically data coming from backup software.
IDC said that the market for this kind of kit rose by four percent in 2014 and generated revenues of $3.26 billion.
Annual capacity in 2014 rose by 42.8 percent compared to 2013 to a staggering 2.68 exabytes.
Liz Conner, a research manager at IDC, said reasons for the rise in revenues included better software, data tiering, file sharing, data analytics and more investment in integrated systems.
In the fourth quarter, top of the storage pile was EMC with 63.8 percent market share, dwarfing the other players Symantec (11.5%), IBM (6.7%), HP (4%) and Quantum (2.3%).
The storage division of HP said it has released a series of storage products aimed at mid sized companies who don’t want to spend much cash.
HP claimed it has released the most affordable solid state drive (SSD) read caching product which starts off at $1,599.
HP also said it is offering hybrid flash storage in the shape of a StoreVirtual Storagesystem which it claims is 12 times faster than systems using spinning hard drives.
It is also releasing a scalable StoreOne Backup appliance and StoreEasy storage file serving appliances aimed at protecting SME data in case of a catastrophe and providing cloud backup.
HP said it is wooing its channel partners to target the SME market with a range of products that cost 23 percent less than its more grown up products for big enterprises.
It said that the scalable nature of its StoreOnce 2900 Backup appliance, for example, with up to 31.5 terabytes of storage in a 2U system.
HP has also refreshed with StoreEasy storage products using ProLiant Gen9 servers that start at under $5,500.
Most of these products will be available by the end of this month, HP said.
IDC said that the storage market ended well. In the last quarter, worldwide enterprise storage systems revenue grew 7.2 percent year on year to amount to close to $10.6 billion.
And capacity shipments rose by 43.7 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year to represent 99.2 exabytes.
Eric Sheppard, a research director at IDC, said spending on enterprise storage grew in most markets worldwide with factors including demand for midrange systems using flash memory and systems designed for hyper scale data centres.
EMC was the top dog in fourth quarter, with a 22.2 percent market share. That company was followed by HP (13.8%), Dell (9%), IBM (9%) and Netapp (7.2%).
75.7 million personal and entry level storage products shipped in 2014 and that means the market was essentially flat.
IDC estimated that annual shipment values fell 1.5 percent compared to 2013, with a value of $6.6 billion.
Personal stort age suffered from competition from public cloud providers and people started using online streaming more, said IDC.
The entry level market is largely dominated by vendors that don’t make hard drives but their share fell as much as 17.6 percent compared to the year before.
USB continues to be the choice for the personal and entry level storage market, while Ethernet is preferred for entry level market. Thunderbolt based devices fell by 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, the first time it had showed a decline.
Devices with over four terabytes of storage now account for a third of all shipments in the quarter.
A report said
that integrated infrastructure and platforms – that is to say vendor systems containing servers, disk storage, networking kit and systems management software – grew by 38 percent in the third quarter of last year.
IDC said vendors turned in revenues of $616 million in the quarter, a year on year growth of 38.2 percent for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in the quarter.
Eckhardt Fisher, research analyst at IDC, said the growth is linked to fast spreading adoption of business intelligence systems and the perceived benefit to enterprises that brings.
The market leader for the integrated infrastructure division saw VCE as the leader, followed by Cisco-Netapp, and then HP.
Cisco grew its share by close to 163 percent for the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
VCE also took prime position in the integrated platforms sector, followed by Cisco-Netapp and HP. But here HP belonged strongly – growing by 271 percent in the quarter.
The entire market for the third quarter shipped 238 terabytes – up 63.5 percent compared to Q3 2013.
The Australian National University
(ANU) claimed that a prototype quantum hard drive it’s developing has improved storage times by as much as 100 times.
The goal of the scientists are to use quantum physics to develop a highly secure data encryption network using quantum information, with applications in banking and other internet functions.
As we reported earlier this week, other scientists are working to achieve higher internet security using quantum physics.
The scientists said they stored quantum information in atoms of Europium embedded in a crystal.
They claim that the solid state technique offers advantages over using laser beams in optical fibres. The team’s record storage time is now six hours.
Manjin Zhong from ANU, said: “Our storage times are now so long that it means people need to rethink what is the best way to distribute quantum data. Even transporting our crystals at pedestrian speeds we have less loss than laser systems for a given distance.”
She said that the team’s goal is store light in separate crystals and transport them to different parts of networks thousands of kilometres apart. “We are thinking of our crystals as portable optical hard drives for quantum entanglement,” she said.
flash memory array units were more than robust last year, amounting to a market worth $11.3 billion in 2014.
IDC said in a market report that the reason is there are better offerings that handle a wide range of more complicated workloads.
Flash based units in data centres include encryption, clones, replication, and storage efficiency.
And the fact that enterprises like the flexibility of flash based products means that enterprise storage vendors like Dell, EMC, HP, IBM and Oracle are jumping on the bandwagon.
Flash arrays are showing better performance, longer lives, better reliability and an improved cost per gigabyte, IDC said.
Startups in the arena include Nible Storage, Pure Storage and Solidfire.
IDC said enterprises should consider flash based arrays when they are considering replacing traditional storage units.
The generation of vast amounts of data continues to fuel the disk storage systems revenue in the third quarter.
With revenues of $8.8 billion, up 5.1 percent from the same period last year, 25 exabytes shipped in the quarter, said IDC. Capacity shipments soared by 42 percent during the quarter, compared to Q3 2013.
IDC said sub $100K external array revenues grew by over six percent during the quarter, but shipments ODMs (original design manufacturers) directly to hyperscale datacentres showed positive growth.
EMC remains at the top spot for the quarter, followed by HP, Dell, IBM and Netapp.
ODM direct sales accounted for 24 percent of the market however, outstripping the traditional vendors. And this trend is continuing, as we’ve reported previously, with ODMs also shipping more and more servers directly and bypassing the brand names,
Big Blue says it has created a new model for enterprise data storage intended to work across a large number of IT solutions.
Jamie Thomas, general manager of storage at IBM, said that it’s time the “traditional” storage model must change. That’s because data is churned out to 2.5 billion gigabytes every day.
Enterprises need to make real time decisions based on this data. Storage and data centres are the foundation for the model using analytical tools.
She said IBM has introduced something called the Elastic Storage Server, a software storage appliance that works in conjunction with IBM Power 8 servers.
She said that software defined storage is changing the entire industry and IBM can now sell products to customers that want to manage, organise, and use data as a competitive tool.
IBM will offers its Software Defined Storage products through Elastic Storage, SAN Volume Controller and the Virtual Storage Centre.
Another survey on the growth of big data technology and services underlines the growth in this sector of the IT market.
Market research company IDC predicts that the western Eurpean big data market will grow between now and 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 24.6 percent.
IDC said that western European organisations are catching up with the USA rapidly because of a combination of smaller datasets, challenging economies and privacy concerns.
The market sector is segmented into infrastructure, such as servers, storage and networking; software; and services. Storage was worth $536 million in 2013, while the server market is worth $314 million. But the largest segment is software, worth an estimated $698 million last year, followed by services which was worth $593 million.
IDC said the UK, Benelux and the Nordic countries are showing higher initial adoption, but Germany and France are fast catching up.
But Alys Woodward, research director at IDC, warned that getting value from investments in big data is far from guaranteed. Vendors need to clearly demonstrate to their customers how their organisations can benefit from adoption.
Enterprises have got off the fence about adoption in big data technologies with 73 percent of those surveyed saying they either have invest or will invest in big data in the next 24 years.
That’s according to some data from Gartner, which says the pack is being led by North America, with 47 percent of organisations saying they’d invested in 2014.
But while these organisations might be ready for the big data big time, IDC says that most work is in strategy and starting pilots and experimental projects.
Lisa Kart, a research director at IDC, said: “The most dramatic changes are in enhancing customer experience, especially in transportation, healthcare, insurance, media and communications, retail, and banking. Another area where we see an increase is using big data to develop information products, where organisations are looking to monetise their data. This is especially true among IT vendors, government and manufacturing.”
What is big data, though? It appears that some are still trying to understand what big data is. Gartner says increasing data volume is understandable because it’s just a massive amount of data, and volume is easy because you just add storage and computing capacity.
Getting value is more difficult because of the variety of data and sources including social media feeds, machine and sensor data and free form text which all require analysing.
File sharing enterprise company Egnyte said it has recruited a former EMC head of US partnerships as its vice president in charge of channells.
Jeff Nollette, who has a 25 year background in sales and channel development, is to head up Egnyte’s partner programme aimed at VARs and MSPs.
That programme will include incentives and support with the aim of boosing its channel revenues by year end.
The channel programme will include enterprise technology for File Sync and Share. Egnyte says that will help them improve existing storage investments for cloud enablement.
There are two levels to the programme – Associate and Elite – based on sales, performance and commitment to products.
Available will be dedicated customer service, training and marketing assistance; a partner sales kit; and an improved partner discount structure either directly or through the company’s Reseller Portal.
Shipments of storage products fell by five percent last year, said market research company IHS.
However, solid state drive shipments in 2013 doubled and the reason for the decline in the whole sector is because of contractions in the hard drive and optical disk drive sectors.
Shipments of storage including SSDs, conventional hard drives and optical drives totalled 755 million units. HDDs fell by seven percent to 444.4 million units, optical drives fell by 12 percent to 253 million units while SSDs rose by 82 percent to 57 million units, said IHS. The figures do not include non PC related drives.
The convential HDD sector suffered from the increase in the popularity of smartphones and tablets. However, the enterprise PC sector is more promising than the consumer end of the show.
SSDs are likely to rise by 50 percent during 2014, reaching 189 million units in 2017, which will be half the size of the HDD market which is expected to total 397 million in that year.
Distributor Avnet said it has introduced a programme called Altitude aimed at small and medium sized businesses.
The programme promotes EMC storage and back up devices and aims to help its resellers offer VNXe storage and Data Domain backup products.
The scheme centres around an online configuration tool that lets resellers calculate price for the EMC products without needing to contact Avnet. Using a secure portal, the configurator is available at all times.
Lee Bushnell, EMC business manager at Avnet UK (pictured), said that the programme will help resellers to secure lucrative revenue streams with attractive pricing.
Resellers can avail themselves of training on the portal along with sales information, data sheets and product training.