I just pick one workshop from EMC Forum 2010 (KL) which I think is interesting. The original title for the workshop is Unified Storage.
There are 3 main factors to improve storage efficiency - capacity, flexibility and performance.
DeDup. There is a lot of duplication data in our storage, for example the attachment in forwarded email. DeDup method to find out the duplicated data, keep just one copy. Others copies just a link to the identical data.
When there is a changes to a backup file, just backup the changes only, not all the file data. Similar like Apple Time Machine incremental backup. Could be more complicated, but just let you have an idea of it.
VM Aware. Able to integrate well with Vmware solution, since Vmware is a very popular software solution for virtualization and cloud computing.
Multi Protocol. Heard of iSCSI, eSATA, CIFS, NFS, be it hardware or software, just name it.
Flash Cache. Use flash drive as a cache, since flash drive is faster than normal hard disk, performance will be improved. Sure, flash drive came with a price (is more expensive).
64bit. This don't really mention in the EMC workshop, I would like to emphasize a bit here. The ZFS from Sun Solaris is a 64bit filesystem.
ZFS is an advance filesystem to eliminate all the limitation of the existing filesystem. It is easy to be managed and use software data redundancy control which may better than the hardware system.
There are rumors saying that ZFS may put storage company out of business (NetApp sues Sun for ZFS patent infringement).
Storage solution is not just the filesystem, it has an ecosystem includes hardware, software, backup solution and integration process.
EMC introduce Unified Storage, the high end scalable hardware. UniShpere (video), the software management tools which can be integrated into Vmware software system. You can check the details from EMC website.