Although hardware and software solutions have both pushed for higher performance and more capacity, they must also deal with greater volumes of data. Companies store vast quantities of information for a wide variety of purposes and IDC analysts recently predicted continued momentum of this trend.

Researchers expect the storage infrastructure market to benefit from a compound annual growth rate of 53 percent between 2011 and 2016, with demand largely being pushed by big data analytics. 

"Storage will be one of the biggest areas of infrastructure spending for big data and analytics environments over the forecast period," said Ashish Nadkarni, research director of storage systems. "This growth will come largely from capacity-optimized systems (including dense enclosures), however, software-based distributed storage systems with internal disks to store post-processed data will also be embraced by some users."

Nadkarni also explained that storage vendor revenue tied to big data will increase to approximately $6 billion in 2016, up from $379.9 million in 2011. This will likely present new opportunities for cloud storage providers, considering 31 percent of respondents said they had not yet deployed enterprise storage solutions for big data. Businesses recognized benefits from investing in big data, with the majority (61 percent) citing improved customer satisfaction as the primary advantage.

As Ecommerce Times contributor Jeffrey Kaplan recently noted, many big data investments have failed to meet expectations. This is partially due to difficulties in making analytics a part of daily operations. For example, 62 percent of respondents in an industry survey said they were not able to access information in a timely enough fashion. However, Kaplan suggested that cloud-based business intelligence software could help bridge the gap by balancing cost effectiveness, accessibility and performance. 

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