What’s in Store for Storage in 2014
With the start of the new year, it's time once again for those
of us in enterprise storage to look ahead and offer our predictions for what the
industry will see in 2014 by Janae Lee, SVP strategy, Quantum Corp.
Ten trends that will have a big impact in the coming
- 1) Time to Retire the
'Primary' from Primary Storage - With
the continued growth of data and increased strategic value of connecting
historical data with new data, primary storage is no longer the main game in
town. Getting data off expensive primary storage, while keeping it readily
accessible, will take on greater importance. As a result, there will be
increased focus on tiered storage, with new technologies such as next
generation object storage and LTFS being widely adopted.
- 2) VM Data: 'Just Let Me Be
Me' - Look for a greater emphasis on
simplifying backup and archive for VMs, particularly keeping the data in its
native format. With virtual environments continuing to proliferate, there
will be even greater need for virtual deduplication appliances and backup
software to protect data in native format as IT managers demand faster,
easier restores and portability across private and public clouds.
- 3) MSPs and VARs Cloud the
Picture - Expect more MSPs and VARs to
add cloud Backup-as-a-Service and DR-as-a-Service to their lineup of
offerings as a way to bring more value to their customers. Major storage
companies will play a key supporting role in providing the underlying
technologies as part of a broader effort to compete with cloud leaders such
- 4) I'm Not Getting
'Nirvanixed' - Following the initial
enthusiasm surrounding public cloud's potential, it was perhaps inevitable
that issues such as security and availability would attract more scrutiny,
and the collapse of Nirvanix is giving some of those issues greater urgency.
Companies will be more careful about weighing the cost savings benefits of
public cloud backup against the slower recovery speeds, as well as concerns
for their data's security in multi-tenant clouds. Hybrid approaches that
offer the best aspects of public and private clouds will have increasing
appeal - particularly the benefits inherent in keeping a local copy on
premise for quick recovery and assured availability.
- 5) The NSA is Right: It's
All about Metadata - While recent
revelations about NSA spying are troubling from a privacy standpoint, the
agency certainly isn't alone in recognizing the increasing value of
metadata. When it comes to storage, system metadata has long been important.
This is the information about a data file/object that gets stored
automatically such as author, size, date created, date modified, etc. In the
next year, there will be growing demand to automate the collection of
application metadata - information about a data file/object that relates to
its content - connecting the data to its business value and usage.
- 6) The Need for Global
(Data) Warming - As data volumes grow
and organizations look for more ways to leverage the value of their data,
keeping it warm in an active archive will be a top priority. While cold
storage still makes sense for compliance data and DR, business success will
increasingly depend on the ability to quickly access, share and analyze
data. This will also drive the continued convergence of backup and archive.
- 7) Storage: Marketing's New
BFF - Visual storytelling - Whether
it's in the form of conveying product messaging, showcasing sports
highlights, illustrating new market trends, raising corporate awareness or
encouraging social media sharing - will continue to grow and add value to
corporate brands. Traditionally taking the back seat to larger
corporate-wide IT initiatives, smaller business departments are also now
generating a tremendous amount of high-quality digital content. Increased
usage and archiving of video, graphics and others images will place new
demands on storage infrastructures, and IT departments will need to rethink
traditional approaches to managing and protecting data.
- 8) Data Migration is so 'Old
School' - Larger disk drives and
petabyte-scale archives will force the need for an alternative to
traditional data migration. Migrating content with traditional RAID storage
every 3-5 years is already painful and waiting months or years to complete a
migration is not an option for most users, to say nothing of the demands
this places on IT staff to keep performance levels high. As a result, RAID
will increasingly become ineffective and unmanageable, and next-generation
object storage - with its self-healing and self-protecting architecture -
will be adopted more broadly as a way to eliminate the need for migration.
- 9) Goodbye Nielsens, Hello
Storage - As TV viewing continues to
move online, broadcasters will increasingly be able to do their own
analytics and get much more useful data. However, bringing this capability
in-house will not only increase the amount of data that must be stored and
protected but also require a new approach to managing data in many cases,
including developing a more robust policy-based tiered archive system. At
the same time, broadcasters will be looking for solutions that integrate
analytics and storage.
- 10) You're Only as Good as
Your Data Management - Capturing
digital data has become easier than ever, and companies will increase their
technology investments in maximizing the value of their data to drive
competitive advantage and other business objectives. Digital video from a
sports season, point-of-sale customer information, surveillance images or
data collected for scientific research can reveal patterns that might not be
fully realized until analyzed over a period of time. Discovering such
patterns can help improve performance, increase productivity, unveil an
untapped revenue source, and even save lives. The ability to not only retain
large amounts of data but also manage and share it easily and effectively
will become an even greater determinant of organizational success.