Any fool can write about 2006 in review. But I’m not just any fool. I’m going to review 2007 in advance. Well, just the little storage saturated corner of which I am inordinately fond.

-CIOs realized they are at a significant cost disadvantage and started prototyping new apps on services such as Amazon’s EC and S3. They did see some cost savings, but the big win was faster implementation and scaling of the infrastructure. Very little industry buzz though, since storage vendors don’t do business with the service providers and the CIOs who know aren’t talking.

-Electronic medical records failed to get any storage industry attention even as this multi-billion dollar opportunity slipped away. American consumers, seeing widespread abuse by insurance companies, debt collectors, law enforcement and employers, began fighting their use in the courts and through “off the grid” health care options.

-The 1.5 TB disk drive got off to a slow start late in the year, but the 240 GB 2.5″ notebook drives took off fast as notebooks took 60% of the PC market by year end and the Internet Data Centers started using notebook drives in the millions to reduce power, space and cooling needs.

-The biggest device surprise – Small Write-Optimized Flash (SWOF) drives – in 32 and 64 GB capacities from Samsung, took off in as OLTP-oriented IDCs realized they could have higher reliability and performance at much lower costs over conventional disk drives. In a brilliant marketing move, Samsung got certified with Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and MySQL, dramatically raising the technical buzz around SPOF drives.

-Zmanda open source backup really started taking off this year. It is cheap, reliable, and easily readable. At some point folks started waking up to the fact that they could lock themselves in to a single software product by using some sort-of cool features, or they could use Zmanda and know they’ll be able to recover the data on any Unix/Linux system.

-Apple’s spring trio of storage software products, based on ZFS, including Time Machine, Replicant and Total Recall – note their cool use of Sci-Fi movie references – left every other storage app looking like crank-start Model T’s next to a Ferrari F430.

The StorageMojo take
2007 was a good year for storage. Despite the profitable inertia enjoyed by the big guys, some exciting technology and applications made waves: ZFS; SWOF drives; Apple storage apps; and more open source storage apps. All of these contributed to a growing rethinking of storage architectures in the high-volume, cool-data, internet age.

By all means write in about your favorite developments in 2007. And I wish you a happy and persistent 2008!