Arik Hesseldahl

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IT Trends in 2011 and Beyond: More Cloud, Flash and Virtualization

Gleacher analyst Brian Marshall is out with a short research note this morning summarizing a few trends he thinks will be important in IT in 2011. Companies he covers, which include VMware, NetApp, EMC, IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Apple collectively saw their shares grow by 40 percent this year, beating the S&P 500, which grew 13 percent. With enterprise IT companies roughly six quarters into a recovery period following the disaster that was 2009, he says 2010 is going to prove to be a difficult year to follow.

For 2011, he expects a continuation of a lot of trends you’ve already been hearing about. You probably already knew about the direction of the general trends, but Marshall has included some interesting figures around the size of various opportunities.

Cloud computing, he says, currently consumes only two percent of the global enterprise storage budget today, and he expects that to grow to between 15 and 20 percent within five years.

He says solid-state storage–which uses flash memory to enhance storage in servers by breaking up the bottlenecks that exist between processors that do the number crunching and hard drives that store the data–is “at a nascent stage,” and that solid-state use in enterprise applications will only get more important in 2011.

Finally, expect more virtualization in the data center. Currently, corporations virtualize about 30 percent of their servers and storage machines. Marshall thinks over five years, that will grow to about 70 percent, and if the conditions are right, 2011 could be a year where the growth rate could accelerate significantly.

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