What does 2022 hold for the data storage industry? Signs of what is to come have been emerging. The following are five predictions about the data storage market, grounded in understanding the direction where the market is going. They involve AI, cyber resilience, supercharged application, workload performance and availability, and reduction of OPEX and CAPEX.
Trend #1: Emphasizing data and cyber resilience as a critical component of cybersecurity strategy
The threat of cyber attacks has reached such a feverish pitch that 66% of Fortune 500 CEOs named it their #1 business threat in the Fortune 500 CEO survey in mid-2021. Similarly, in a KPMG CEO survey in March 2021, CEOs also noted cybersecurity was their #1 concern. Alarmingly, the average number of days to identify and contain a data breach, according to security analysts, is 287 days.
If an enterprise or service provider does not have data and cyber resilience, the cyber criminals will be relentlessly launching cyberattacks. In short, it is not “if” you will suffer a cyberattack, it is when and how often. Being prepared encompasses having cyber-resilient data storage as a critical component of your enterprise’s corporate cybersecurity strategy.
Trend #2: Incorporating AI technology throughout the entire data storage system and modern data protection infrastructure
Data storage technology continues to be a critical foundation to optimize the performance of AI applications, workloads, and uses cases. However, in 2022, the incorporation of AI technologies across data storage systems and software-defined storage will deliver superior value, dramatically save on CAPEX and OPEX, and improve real-world performance across all applications and workloads.
In 2022, AI will be used to build storage systems and SDS. This trend will harness the full power of AI for your storage estate.
Trend #3: Integrating data storage technologies into off-prem environments based on hybrid and container technologies
The shift to hybrid cloud and container technologies will continue to proliferate at an accelerated pace. With many workloads moving to a hybrid cloud configuration, it will be imperative to have the infrastructure that supports core, edge, and cloud, as well as the virtualization layer and the container layer across a hybrid environment.
This will enhance the ability of enterprises to deliver the right end-user services with the right SLAs for their business. The importance of possessing hybrid cloud integration capabilities will substantially increase in 2022. We will also see enhancements being adopted, such as logical air-gapping (both local and remote), which is an essential part of a hybrid cloud cybersecurity strategy.
Trend #4: Leveraging data storage technology to ensure application and workload performance and availability
Not only are servers important to real-world application performance, but data storage is also extremely critical. For highly transactional block workloads, there will be an enhanced focus on application latency on read and write of sub-100 microsecond. While there are numerous storage performance metrics you can look at, latency is the number one determinant for real-world transactional performance.
Through the real-world application layer (not “hero” numbers), an IT team could see performance as low as 50 microseconds on the read side and as low as 75-80 microseconds on the write side. This will optimize real-world performance. Accepting anything less means a company is stuck in a legacy solution that is sub-optimal.
While application performance is critical in today’s enterprise, having the maximum system availability is also just as critical. If the storage is fast but not available, then performance is a moot point. In 2022, we see a dramatic emphasis by enterprises on having their storage meeting 100% availability characteristics.
Trend #5: How storage reduces OPEX and CAPEX for infrastructure
Pressure for enterprise CIOs to reduce costs will only increase, given economic fluctuations and business uncertainties. IT leaders will scramble to find ways to take costs out of the data infrastructure.
Due to high performance and low latency in a software-defined storage architecture, an increasing number of organizations are able to consolidate multiple workloads onto a single storage array in 2022, dramatically cutting CAPEX and OPEX. No need anymore for 50 different arrays each running one application or workload, when with 2022 enterprise storage solutions all 50 of those applications and workloads can fit on just one or two storage arrays. Talk about saving on watts, slots, power, cooling, floorspace, and operational manpower.
Additionally, the use of storage built from the ground up with AI technology substantially reduces your operational manpower – hence OPEX. Having the storage system automatically adjust caching and other performance parameters on the fly with AI accuracy or automatically configuring your storage system will reduce the workload on your IT, data center, and data storage administrators.