We are living in a hyper-connected world. Social media sites, video sites, photo sites, mobile apps, emails or online purchases – every second, data is being generated. In 2012, the amount of global data reached roughly 2.7 zettabytes and as per IDC prediction, the number will double every two years after 2015. In terms of only content, till the year 2003, 5 Exabytes of content were created whereas; in the year 2013, each day, 5 Exabytes of content was created. While the data is growing exponentially, according to IDC, more than 90% of the world’s data is unstructured – comprising of databases, large audio/ video files, records etc.
All this Data has meant that Data Storage has become the prime priority for IT teams. Improvements in cost savings, utilization and management are the name of the game in data storage. Here are 7 trends which seem set to define the data storage landscape –
- Bye bye Data Center, hello Cloud / infinite data centerThe industry is moving away from datacenter silos towards the Cloud. Scalability, predictability and performance are some of the reasons why. It is becoming clearer that IT will move towards a more hyper cloud model. CIOs have started considering on-premises private clouds for applications that require IT control, enterprise cloud for applications that need to be shared with third party and public clouds for variable workload applications and SaaS applications. The role of IT is becoming that of a moderator across the various cloud options
- Hyper-scalability – Big Data and IoTBig data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, real-time analytics are touching the lives of people in a lot of crucial ways. This also translates into a vast amount of data. Industrial equipment, health monitoring tools or be it mobile devices, everything is generating tremendous data and storage networks are straining to maintain capacity and performance to match this data growth. Server-by-server data storage increase is not an option today. Organizations need an option to store the data from the perspective of long-term utilization and to generate actionable insights from that. IT managers are continuously looking for ways to grow the system to be able to accommodate the increasing data, while being cost-effective and not hampering the reliability or the security.
- Enterprise Demands – Power Efficiency, FlexibilityAccessibility, 24/7 data availability and easier management are no more good-to-haves – these have become must-haves. Today, enterprises have started to look for personalized data storage which fits their requirements. Cost conscious organizations have also started looking for ways to cut costs without compromising on the performance or security – this includes establishing power-efficiency criteria which helps them lessen the overheads.
- VVOLs (Virtual Volumes) as a hot emerging technologyEliminating the need to use LUNs and NAS mount points to provision storage has always been on the wish list of IT managers. Virtual Volumes promises to do that. By giving each Virtual Machine the ability to store various services, it offers the flexibility to the VM to have its own policies and services. Software-defined storage platforms and arrays have already started gearing up to support VVOLs. Undoubtedly, VVOLs is among the hottest technology trends to look forward to.
- Hybrid Storage ArraysAs per an IDC report, 51% of organizations with 1,000+ employees have included flash to their storage environment and 84% of that have deployed some kind of hybrid system. For enterprises deploying flash storage, the mix of HDDs and SSDs (Solid-State Drives) seems to be one of the most preferred options. Taking advantage of high performance flash for hot and frequently used data and using cheaper hard disks for cold data, hybrid storage solutions offer optimal solutions. All-flash arrays are beginning to handle more capacity, but it’s not yet enough to serve the entire enterprise. For organizations which want to keep their costs in check, hybrid systems are always less expensive than all-flash arrays.
- Non-Volatile Memory InterfacesNext generation memory technologies are evolving and I am sure that the non-volatile memory interfaces will provide substantial performance advances. A new market research report Non-Volatile Memory Market by Markets and Markets estimates that the total market is expected to reach $40.2 billion by 2020. The new technologies for non-volatile memories are ready to enter the market and in the long run will provide functionalities for enterprise storage applications, embedded memories, mobile apps and wearable applications. The higher density Non Volatile Memory (NVM) chips promise the capability to extend the market from niches to DRAM and NAND mass markets..
- Data Security beyond EncryptionAs cyber-criminals become more sophisticated, there have been a stream of cyber-attacks and breaches causing issues to retailers, financial institutions, banks, governments and more. Technologies and services focusing on incident prevention and response are on prime agenda for security professionals. Newer technologies like data dispersal and keyless encryption are being preferred by organizations to protect the data against breaches. Another emerging trend is removing the human factor and instead automating the encryption control.
The storage industry looks set to undergo a complete transformation. It is an interesting era to be part of if you are developing products for the coming age!
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Anupam Bhide | Calsoft Inc.
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