For a very long time, the wide world of data storage was, well, a bit stagnant. Yes, storage costs came down over time, as capacity and supply increased, but that was about it. Then came the cloud, and now every year there are huge strides made in the field. So, what’s playing out in the data storage arena this year?
1. Data Archiving Becomes More Important to Businesses
Archiving used to take a backseat to other business goals, but now that big data analytics has proven what a tremendous value historical data holds, data archiving is the sexy new fellow at the office. Look for archiving to become increasingly prominent as businesses find new uses for all sorts of historical data.
2. Hybrid Cloud Continues to Gain Momentum
For the most part, when you talk ‘business cloud’ you’re really talking ‘hybrid cloud’. More than any other cloud architecture, the hybrid cloud has gained the most traction, as businesses seek to find a balance between on-premises security and performance with cloud-based affordability, convenience, scalability, and flexibility. This trend isn’t slowing down. Look for hybrid cloud to play prominently into business cloud endeavors for some time to come.
3. Thin Clients Grow in Popularity
The trend is toward centralizing data and enabling data access via thin clients (or virtual machines). There are several factors driving this trend. First, is document version control. When you centralize the data store in the cloud and allow users to access it from there, everyone has constant access to the latest version of any file or document. Second is security. Businesses are tired of their sensitive data floating around in emails and on USB drives that get lost at the gym or dropped at the train station. Centralized cloud-based storage and thin clients give businesses more control over their data and who accesses it.
4. Flash/Solid State Storage Gains Traction in the Marketplace
The price of solid state drives is falling, and the benefits of flash storage are becoming more widely known and understood. The primary concern over SSD storage has always been about reliability: it works great until one day it doesn’t. Since cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services are so readily available and affordable, there really is no reason anymore not to take advantage of the greater performance of flash storage. Just be sure it’s properly backed up, because one day when you least expect it …
5. Businesses Finally Grasp & Adopt the Data Lake
In the beginning was the data lake, and it was good. Then came the naysayers, claiming that data lakes were nothing more than data swamps, where all good and decent data goes to rot and die. Like most everything in IT, if you don’t do it right, of course it becomes disastrous. But done right, the data lake can solve an impressive amount of issues for the business. Primarily, you never again have to toss data only to discover you had a really good use for it after all.
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