Better Late than Never: My Non-Predictions for 2011

Happy New Year! Oh, wait, is it February 1 already?

Okay, so I’m late to the party … and I’ve also been less prolific than I would have liked here on the blog. I hope you’ll forgive me, though, as we had some business to take care of the past few weeks, as you may have heard

What does this mean for Isilon? Where do I start? How about the obvious – Isilon is now a division of EMC – and we have been welcomed warmly into the family. The fastest growing storage company now has the full support and resources of the market leader in enterprise data storage. If that’s not powerful enough, our acquisition by EMC doesn’t change the focus at Isilon one bit: we are still committed to solving your file-based data management and storage challenges and producing the very best scale-out NAS, bar-none.

For 2011, I predict … actually, no I don’t. Plenty of folks have already weighed in with 2011 predictions. I prefer to give you some … “non-predictions”: 2011 will be a year you get more of what you love from Isilon, only better, and see more of the same in the evolution of the enterprise data center, only at a faster pace.

For example, in 2011, we brought you SSDs, the sixth generation of our operating system, automated storage tiering in a single file system, advanced system analytics and iSCSI functionality. In 2011, we’re going to up the ante across the board. How? Well… more on that soon 🙂

In 2010, we also saw server virtualization continue to dominate enterprise IT strategy and analysts are seeing no signs of that slowing in 2011, or 2012, or 2013… How about the cloud? It started popping up everywhere in 2010, and in 2011, it appears the enterprise will increasingly turn to public, private, or hybrid cloud models as the best practice for efficient, flexible IT strategy. I don’t know that cloud is perfectly understood, but it has certainly forced IT leaders to take a hard look at how they scale their operations.

Then there’s big data. I’m not exactly sure what big data is – but our President Sujal Patel has an idea, so does EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci. Look for more from EMC and Isilon soon as we drive the discussion on what “big data” is and how it is changing enterprise IT. IDC says digital data is growing 44X to 35 trillion gigabytes by 2020, so whether you call it big, bigger or humungous, file-based data growth isn’t slowing down, it’s accelerating, many times over. Then take into account the increasing demand for faster compute and storage performance, advanced analytics, reduced cost and management… the list goes on. Regardless of definition, the issues surrounding “big data” are forcing IT leaders to look at how they scale and effectively utilize the data being generated within their enterprises.

Where is all this data coming from? How about 3D movies? It seems every Hollywood blockbuster these days comes in 3D, complete with the retro glasses. Then there’s cancer research, where the need for a cure is driving amazing advances in genetic research, treatment development, and diagnostic technologies, which, of course, generate tons of data. Now think about geospatial imaging… and virtual simulations in car manufacturing… and space exploration… Today, file-based data growth is everywhere!

The amazing advances in compute resources combined with the availability of data is leading to breakthroughs across consumer and enterprise domains alike – and the cycle is self-proliferating: the more data is generated and successfully leveraged, the greater the desire to generate more data to increase leverage.

That’s where Isilon comes in. In the coming weeks myself and some fellow Isilon bloggers will be detailing the different areas in which file-based data growth is fundamentally changing IT strategy, and how Isilon is solving these challenges. Our ability to scale capacity and performance in minutes allows businesses to unlock and unleash the tremendous potential represented by massive data growth, while the simplicity of OneFS makes managing this growth a breeze. Don’t believe me? You can ask any of the 52 customers we announced last year. And if that’s not enough, spend some time with us here at “It’s That Simple” over the coming weeks to understand how Isilon is changing the game for organizations with nothing else in common except a big data problem.

If you have a data growth horror story, or want to learn more about solving your own specific challenge, please drop a comment or ping me @Isilon_Nick and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

About the Author: Nick Kirsch