Five Data Storage Predictions for 2012 - Slide 2

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Since the early 1990s, an increasing proportion of data created and used has been in the form of digital data. The volume of digital data is expected to grow to 2.7 zettabytes in 2012 — up 48 percent from 2011.

New research shows storage mediums, such as Racetrack memory that combines the benefits of magnetic hard drives and solid-state memory, can be vastly denser than they are today. Additionally, new form factors such as solid-state disks will help provide more stable, longer-term preservation of data, and the promise of "the cloud" allows access to data anywhere, anytime.

To many IT professionals, the data storage process is considered boring. Issues related to I/O performance will get their attention, but actually managing the storing of data tends to appeal to a narrow subset of the IT community.

IBM, however, says data storage is about to have a breakout year, largely because data is now getting the respect it deserves as a business asset. Here are five macro trends for 2012 that will change the way people think about data storage forever.

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