Vijay Kumar Mahalingam

Vice President – Technical Services, Rahi

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Top 7 Emerging Trends In Data Storage For 2021

The industry is shifting towards software-defined storage solutions where hardware will continue to play a role; however, software will be coordinating the complexity of the systems.

Data storage systems have evolved into mission-critical components of enterprise IT infrastructure. Organizations have to deal with a plethora of data on a day-to-day basis, and this data continues to pile up. According to a recently conducted study by Statista, global spending for data storage is expected to exceed USD 78 billion by 2021. Enterprise data storage will be critical in determining the competitiveness of a business. Organizations must to be prepared for the next phase of the data boom and by building data storage solutions for scalability, flexibility and agility.

Here are key trends that will emerge in the data storage space for 2021:

1. Increasing adoption of Flash Storage

Enterprise flash storage has enabled businesses of all sizes to adopt this technology over the last decade. The increasing use of NVMe flash arrays with a combination of SATA or Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive (SAS SSD) connectivity is enabling high-speed communication between storage systems and applications. Enterprises are looking to double down on energy savings, space efficiency and reducing overheads by adopting all-flash arrays. Flash storage solutions are enhancing performance and providing operational simplicity to the IT environment of the organization.

2. Multi-cloud strategy for enterprise storage

Regardless of the cloud environment, businesses are “cloudifying” their storage systems. Businesses are rapidly adopting this strategy in order to increase data mobility between multiple clouds while maintain flexibility. The objective is to make the data accessible to several computing environments, including public clouds.

As this concept is expected to grow further, IT departments can collect, segregate, and store data, irrespective of it being on-premise or off-premise, in a much more streamlined way.

3. Software-defined storage solutions

The industry is shifting towards software-defined storage solutions where hardware will continue to play a role; however, software will be coordinating the complexity of the systems.

This process will enable a location agnostic situation for hardware. It will be irrelevant where the hardware resides. The growing use of software is also linked to the emergence of hyper-convergence storage which is a result of companies adopting a hybrid multi-cloud strategy. Some key benefits of using software defined storage is providing a cyber security layer to the data, automated provision, and reassigning storage capacity. An enhanced security environment will help in improving governance of technology usage and protection of the IT infrastructure.

4. Increasing investment in AI and ML

AI and ML based storage have gained considerable momentum and this will continue in 2021 as well. AI technologies such as deep learning and machine learning, have streamlined the enterprise storage process. It has enabled organizations to accumulate multiple data layers in more structured format and automated several processes including protecting, archiving and data migrating. AI automation will help in saving money, time and effort for organizations and simplify operations resulting in enhancing agility. This will help companies in increasing their control on storage platforms across multiple locations.

5. Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) has emerged as a game changer

NVMe has been around for the past two years, however it gained a lot of traction at the beginning of 2020 and is expected to continue. This is a concept that enables the use of high-speed storage media. This type of memory was born out of the flash storage system and has quickly become an alternative for Small Computer System Interface (SCSI).

NVMe have been designed to make good use of solid-state technologies like Storage Class Memory (SCM) and flash media. They are not only enhancing the performance of existing applications but also enabling new applications to workload processing in real time. Companies are expected to explore this type of memory to drive more value in data speed and latency.

6. The influence of Storage Class Memory (SCM) on purchase decisions

SCM has been in its early phase during the course of the last year and is expected to be still at a nascent stage in 2021.The core advantage of this type of memory is the consistent high-speed storage availability for computing. This computing has been seen to help maintain optimum levels of operations across complex data sets. SCM is a combination of NVMe and flash and fills the gap between external storage and server storage. The main advantage of this type of memory over NVMe and flash storage is that it delivers memory-like byte addressable data access which reduces the collection of irrelevant data. SCM not only offers protection but also enhances it for easy segregation and stores it continually. SCM offers deep level data integration which results in protection and high performance

7. High demand for hyper-converged storage

The growing demand for software defined storage and hybrid cloud has resulted in the growth of the hyper converged storage solutions. Increasing trend of moving towards edge computing has also contributed to this new demand for hyper converged storage. Hyper converged storage is perfect for remote working as well as retail settings. It scales down the need for a public cloud and also is extremely cost effective as compared to other storage solutions. Hyper converged storage has the ability to streamline and simplify data storage and IT operations for organizations of all sizes.

The future of storage will depend on the amount of data that is being generated and stored. Going by the present trend, data volume is only going to increase and the current situation has accelerated the expansion of the data infrastructure.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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