3. Big data
The company that can best serve its customers will be the most likely to succeed--and that entails knowing as much as possible about your customers. Hadoop is a system designed by the Apache Foundation to process large amounts of data. As organizations accumulate terabytes of data about customers, business processes, partners and more, the model of a single database running on a single server becomes less useful. Hadoop runs across multiple systems at once, allowing bigger data sets as well as separate search engines for different purposes.
4. Storage virtualization
Storage virtualization allows for many useful features in storage area network systems. Putting a layer of virtualization between the servers allows for thin provisioning, automatic tiering of storage, instant snapshots, and deduplication. Since there is no direct correlation between the volume a server mounts and the physical storage being used, a volume may actually be spread across multiple systems. This allows for the most-used files to be stored on the fastest drives (auto-tiering), for volumes to be expanded as needed (thin provisioning), for a system to store only one copy of each unique file (deduplication), and for instant copies of volumes to be made for backups, system recovery, and other uses (snapshots).
5. Network virtualization
Server virtualization software, such as VMware and Hyper-V, is only the beginning of a truly virtual environment. To create a useful private cloud, you need to be able to create multiple separate networks, each running different virtual applications. This enables networks for customers, internal users, software developers, HR, and so forth, without requiring different hardware for each. Combined with server and storage virtualization, network virtualization facilitates a fluid and responsive data center, where you can move resources from one network to another without having to reconfigure hardware. And with network virtualization, each virtual server can have its own gigabit Ethernet connection.
6. Cloud backups
Experienced systems administrators may be leery about outsourcing critical applications, but with backups this can make a lot of sense. Because the backups are a secondary or tertiary copy of your data, cloud backups can more affordably fulfill archiving or disaster recovery than with moving tapes around. Since the cloud services are typically disk-based, recovering is speedier than finding, mounting, and reading tapes, and capacity can grow as needed without new equipment.