Emerging markets to drive storage spends

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 18, 2013

cloud storage

The rate at which businesses are generating and consuming data, it is natural for enterprises to rethink their storage options. Likewise, analysts predict storage to be a hot market in 2013 as businesses will invest in big data, cloud and Flash-based technologies. However, from a regional perspective analysts are certain that it is the emerging markets that will outpace spending in more mature regions and in turn drive the worldwide enterprise storage growth in the next few years.

According to a recent IDC report, Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) will surpass Japan in terms of enterprise storage end user spending in 2014. And by 2015, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) will overthrow a struggling Western Europe as the second largest region behind only the United States. IDC predicts the emerging markets of APeJ, CEMA, and Latin America combined will account for one third of worldwide enterprise storage systems spending by 2017, up from 28 per cent in 2012.

Natalya Yezhkova, Research Director, Storage Systems at IDC points out that these emerging markets will continue growing at high rates, fueled by long-term demands for efficient storage and the creation of new storage infrastructures in fast-growing economies. Other emerging regions are expected to maintain growth rates that are comparable to those of more mature regions. Yezhkova believes digital media and content, data protection, and archiving will be among the major drivers behind continuous demand for more storage capacity.

IDC forecasts over 102 exabytes (EB) of external and over 36EB of internal storage system capacity will be shipped in 2017, still significantly higher than the 20EB external and 8EB internal storage shipped in 2012 and most of this growth will be driven by APAC and other emerging markets. “Adoption of storage efficiency technologies and cloud services will contribute to modestly slower growth in enterprise storage system capacity shipped.

Businesses from emerging regions are less tied to legacy infrastructures and are more open to considering a broad range of solutions, including products from regional and local suppliers and cloud service offerings.
-Natalya Yezhkova, Research Director, Storage Systems at IDC

A key trend is that with businesses moving beyond their own datacenters and adding third-party storage services, public cloud will see a lot of activity in the coming years including M&A, pricing changes, sync n’ share services, object-storage and cold storage, notes storage evangelist Ashish Nadkarni sees certain key trends that will drive the growth of storage technologies in the emerging markets. According to him, “Convergence of compute and storage will play a disruptive role and there will be more self-built storage systems that will drive ODMs and OEMs to respond,” he says. Memory and Flash/SSDs will increasingly replace hundreds of HDDs with SSD shipments set to reach nearly 160 million units in 2015, from 22 million units at present.

Storage efficiency, as IDC report also points out, will continue to make inroads into primary data and there will be increased adoption of software defined storage (and networking) in the coming months. The other area where CIOs will continue to spend is open source commercialization – primarily driven by big data and analytics, observes Nadkarni.

 “Big data has a huge potential in itself today and going forward, we will see more data converging with the cloud. As enterprises seek to manage and analyze big data in their cloud deployment, they can not only easily manage capacity, but also see resiliency in terms of long-term storage of the data, besides a huge cost advantage,” says Sunil Chavan, Director, Software Group & Cloud Solutions, Asia Pacific, Hitachi Data Systems. Moreover, BYOD will continue to shape IT and have an impact on corporate sync’n share segment, he adds

Experts also believe that with cloud storage becoming the order of the day, storage professionals will need to double up as cloud administrators. This means that the CIO or the storage manager should have proficiency in networking, and relook their business continuity planning, as well as the entire design and implementation of business infrastructure.

Yezhkova says the businesses from emerging regions are less tied to legacy infrastructures and are more open to considering a broad range of solutions, including products from regional and local suppliers and cloud service offerings. As CIOs in emerging markets will look at more efficient ways to store data, vendors will also look for more innovative ways to cater to the burgeoning market.