Storage: special report

Next on the list was thin provisioning as a way to deal with over-subscription.

"When you go to an airport for a flight and they have sold more seats than they were meant to have, they know the user behaviour and they know that they are probably going to be safe it is exactly same thing with thin provisioning," said Reichman.

"Everybody gets an allocation that is bigger than what the physical resource actually is, so you know they are probably not going to use it on day one but it allows for growth over time."

The final feature that we have watched grow in demand over the last year is deduplication, a technology designed to eliminate duplicate copies of data. The deduplicating process can happen with files or at block level and either in-line or at the target.

"As the technology improves, we are seeing more granular deduplication that compares more chunks of data and therefore offers more reduction in size," said Reichman. "Deduplication has seen the biggest benefits where there is a lot of repetition of data, so virtual servers or virtual desktop and departmental file storage is probably the three leading stories for this technology."

The role of storage in the cloud

Not a day goes by without a mention of cloud computing. So many technology companies are basing their product portfolio on this type of environment and are optimising each piece to be used in the cloud.

Businesses are also taking the option more seriously and are looking to adopt cloud environments in the future. If they aren't using it already, that is.

With such a dominant technology on the horizon, what part does storage have to play?

Reichman claimed to see three different usage cases for storage in the cloud and first off was applications like or Google Mail.

This would allow storage to become more of a service and would change the whole way users purchased it in the future.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.