Gartner’s Technology Predictions for 2011

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I recently attended Gartner Expo, where Gartner’s experts discussed the top 10 technologies and trends they believe will be strategic for most organizations in 2011. What picked my interest are the following and the impact Solix EDMS can have on them:

Cloud Computing: Cloud computing services exist along a spectrum from open (public) to closed (private). The next three years will see the delivery of a range of cloud service approaches that fall between these two extremes. Vendors will offer packaged private cloud implementations that deliver the vendor’s public cloud service technologies (software and/or hardware) and methodologies (i.e., best practices to build and run the service) in a form that can be implemented inside the consumer’s enterprise, much as Google does today with Gmail.

At Solix, we are seeing increased trends from prospects who want to buy Data Management as a service. Solix ExAPPS, Industry’s first application retirement appliance, is seeing a lot of demand, with this surge. I won’t be surprised to see the majority of the IT purchases being done as a cloud service in couple of years.

Next Generation Analytics: The leading edge here is real-time simulations and models that predict future outcomes to support individual business decisions, rather than just analysis of results of past actions after the fact. While this may require significant changes to existing operational and business intelligence infrastructure, it promises significant improvements in business results.

Information Lifecycle Management has an important role to play in identifying and moving inactive data to lower storage tiers. This allows these demanding new predictive analytical tools to focus on the most important active data rather than being bogged down in a morass of irrelevant historical information that does not apply to the present and future business environment.

Storage Class Memory: Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment, and other embedded IT systems. In business, flash memory offers the best of RAM and very high speed storage with a list of advantages of its own — space, heat, performance, and ruggedness among them. As a replacement for RAM, flash offers equivalent performance but with the huge advantage that flash memory is persistent in a power outage, so that when power is restored the device starts up immediately where it left off. This makes it a new, premium choice that allows you basically to store the most valuable, most active data in permanent memory rather than out on a disk drive, where it is instantly available but protected from crashes. Flash is already being used as a “Tier 0” in applications, primarily in the financial industry, that demand extremely fast reads and writes of large amounts of sensitive data.

The disadvantage is cost. It will continue to have enough of a premium for the next several years to make flash an impractical choice for storing anything but the most high-leveraged data, with the rest getting archived or retired. A strong ILM environment with effective data tiering will be important for realizing maximum advantage from your flash memory investment.

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