Moving to 2013, big data will continue to be the primary concern for the IT industry. For example, exabytes will enter into planning discussions and petabytes will be the new norm for large data stores. A lot of attention will be focused on secondary data that is generated for copies and backups. The total cost of ownership (TCO) for storage will go through a major change as operational costs come down and capital costs begin to creep up.

New trends will emerge to provide challenges and opportunities to business in 2013. IT professionals will have to tackle these challenges with budget and time constraints. At the same time, they will have to extract business value from big data to support growth and development.

To offer some guidance, Hu Yoshida, vice president and CTO of Hitachi Data Systems, recently announced the top 10 IT industry trends for 2013:

Dramatic Changes in Opex and Capex: Over the past 10 years, the total cost of storage has been increasing by about 7 percent a year. The increase has been mainly due to operational costs (opex), while the cost of hardware (capex) has been relatively flat. Capex will trend upwards in 2013 and become a greater share of TCO because of the increase of functionality in hardware and the demand for storage capacity.

New Consumption Models: Instead of buying all their storage today and spreading capex over the next 4 to 5 years, organizations will buy what they need when they need it. To do this, organizations need to leverage technologies and capabilities like dynamic storage provisioning, virtualization and non-disruptive data migration. Storage vendors may also provide managed services for organizations to help them convert capex to opex.

Managing the Explosion of Data Replication: Replication multiplies data growth and backups are the biggest driver of data replication. Object stores will help solve the issue by reducing the need to back up and replicate unchanged data.

The Emergence of Enterprise Flash Controllers: The use of high-performance flash solid state drives (SSDs) in the enterprise has been slow due to their high price and limited durability compared to hard disk drives. 2013 will see the introduction of flash controllers with advanced processors that are built specifically for enterprise storage systems and increase the durability, performance and capacity of flash memory.

New Requirements for Entry Enterprise Storage Systems: The increasing use of hypervisors like VMware and applications such as VDI have changed the requirements for mid-range storage systems. The gap between enterprise and mid-range storage architectures is narrowing as the industry begins to demand entry enterprise storage systems. These systems can scale up with increasing workloads by adding more processors, ports and cache and still offer a mid-range price point.

The Need for Object-Based File Systems: The growth of unstructured data will require larger, more scalable file systems. Standard file systems will need to be replaced by object-based file systems to meet this growing demand. Managing file system data and metadata as objects enables fast file system restores, allows high-performance file access, and provides automated file tiering.

Accelerating Use of Content Platforms for Data Archives and Data Sharing: Storage virtualization enables applications to share storage resources. However, the application data remains locked in separate silos. In 2013, the use of content platforms for data archives and data sharing will accelerate as users try to correlate information from different applications.

Hardware Assist Controllers to Satisfy Increasingly Complex Workloads: Storage controllers will be equipped with advanced processors and hardware assist ASICs to address increasingly complex workloads and higher throughput.

Creating a Secure Platform for the Adoption of Mobile Devices: Adoption of mobile devices increases productivity and innovation, but it also creates a nightmare for corporate datacenters. 2013 will see the emergence of secure platforms for data sharing that minimize the security threat of mobile devices and further increase the productivity of mobile workers.

More Tightly Integrated Converged Solutions: Certified, pre-configured and pre-tested converged infrastructure solutions are gaining traction. In 2013, we will see the growing acceptance of unified compute platforms where the management and orchestration of server, storage, and network resources will be done through a single pane of glass.