Overall spending by public cloud service providers on storage hardware, software, and professional services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent from 2010 to 2015, while enterprise spending on storage for the private cloud will experience a CAGR of 28.9 percent. By 2015, combined spending for public and private cloud storage will be $22.6 billion worldwide.
"Despite current economic uncertainties, IDC expects cloud service providers -- both public and private -- to be among the most expansive spenders on IT products and services as they continue to build out their facilities worldwide and expand their service options," said Richard Villars, vice president, Storage Systems & Executive Strategies at IDC.
According to the IDC assessment, the most significant driver of storage consumption over the past three years has been the emergence of public cloud-based application and infrastructure providers. Many of these service providers act as content depots -- gathering, organizing, and providing access to large quantities of digital content.
Meanwhile, other cloud-based service providers have emerged with a focus on delivering IT infrastructure and applications in an "as a service" model. Collectively these companies have undertaken massive storage buildouts as they have expanded their service offerings, entered new markets, and extended their geographic reach.
In parallel to the expansion of the public cloud, many organizations have started to deploy their own private clouds for application, compute, and archival storage. Some of these private cloud deployments -- government and research sites -- are comparable in scope and complexity to public cloud environments, while others are limited in scope.
Five information requirements are driving storage demands:
- Enabling more efficient delivery of information/applications to Internet-based customers.
- Reducing upfront infrastructure investment levels (i.e., cutting the cost and time associated with deploying new IT and compute infrastructure).
- Minimizing internal IT infrastructure investment associated with "bursty" or unpredictable workloads.
- Lowering and/or distributing the ongoing costs associated with long-term archiving of information.
- Enabling near-continuous, real-time analysis of large volumes and wide varieties of customer-, partner-, and machine-generated data (Big Data).
To meet these diverse requirements, IDC believes that organizations will continue to demand access to low-cost storage capacity -- plus a growing range of complementary advanced data transformation, security, and analytics solutions.
"The challenge facing the storage industry will be to balance public cloud service providers' demand for low-cost hardware while boosting demand for advanced software solutions in areas such as object-based storage, automated data tiering, Big Data processing, and advanced archiving services," noted Villars.
"Big Data developments will be perhaps the most critical new marketplace for storage solutions providers in the coming decade. Providing a strong portfolio of complete Big Data solutions -- hardware, software, and implementation services -- will be a high priority to succeed. Similarly, a strong portfolio of active archival storage solutions will be a critical differentiator for private content or archive cloud deployments."