2023 Data Storage and Active Archive Trends – Part II

January 31st, 2023 by Meredith Bagnulo

Members of the Active Archive Alliance shared their 2023 predictions for data storage and active archives. In Part II, we look at the role of active archives in sustainability, data protection, and cybersecurity. Here are some of the top trends to watch:

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” is a Mandate That is Rising in Importance for the Industry.

  1. At the device level, we want to reduce the data movement via techniques like compression. By reducing the data written, the total power consumed is also lowered.
  2. At the storage device level, reuse comes from using secure erase to wipe the data from the storage device before returning that drive back for resale.
  3. Data storage companies look at ways to recycle the material from different components in the device and use it back in the production cycle.

Considering the Earth’s sustainable TCO model is not mere greenwashing. It’s about sustaining the world we embody—the world in which we work, love, and play. We all (individuals, governments, businesses) play a part in keeping this world livable. Increasingly, this is the expectation that customers bring to the table.  ~ Colin Presly, Senior Director at the Office of the CTO, Seagate

More Organizations Will Be Using “Archive from the Edge” Technology to Ensure All Prized Company Data is Protected from Ransomware Attacks. Archive from the Edge is now significantly easier to achieve as ALL archive class storage, private and public cloud plus tape libraries can easily be accessed using S3 compatible protocols. Free and low-cost tools such as S3 Browser (https://s3browser.com/) and S3-based data movers can be used to copy, move, or migrate important data across the Internet, which in the past required more complex VPN access, creating an even more flexible and secure active archive environment – for on-prem and edge content. For larger edge capacities, tape media can be physically shipped and incorporated into on-prem archive environments. ~ Dave Thomson, SVP Sales and Marketing, QStar Technologies

Sustainability to Take Center Stage in Data Storage. All the major trade show conferences throughout 2022 were talking about the need for sustainability in IT operations. From Data Center World to Flash Memory Summit, to the Open Compute Summit, and finally, Supercomputing. None more emphatically than cutting-edge Open Compute, which added Sustainability as its fifth tenet. Given the undeniable impacts of climate change and the energy crisis brought on by geo-political tensions and conflicts, carbon reduction and energy conservation will continue to trickle down to data storage strategies. This is where active archive solutions solve many of the pressing data storage challenges, including accessibility to the sheer volume and growth of valuable long-term data, tightening IT budgets, cybersecurity concerns, and now vitally essential sustainability goals. Simply incorporating modern automated tape systems in an active archive environment can reduce energy consumption by 87% and CO2e by 97% compared to equivalent HDD capacity.  ~ Rich Gadomski, Tape Evangelist, FUJIFILM Recording Media, USA Inc.

Immutable Storage Becomes Increasingly Commonplace. It is no secret that data has become a strategic asset. It is directly or indirectly tied to profitability for nearly every organization in the world today. Unfortunately, this means it’s becoming a high-value target for cybercriminals. The ever-growing threat of malicious actors will drive up demand for immutable storage. Not only will immutable snapshots be in high demand, but immutable media will also be implemented in storage architectures, including active archives across every industry. ~ Travis Johnston, Director, Market Strategy, Folio Photonics

Active Archive Deployments Will Further Increase Due to the Combination of Ransomware Threats and the Need to Reduce Energy Consumption. While data security has been an ongoing concern for the past couple of years, data immutability is now a major expectation. Requirements go beyond the “one immutable offline copy” mantra and are evolving towards an end-to-end model to be implemented for all data storage tiers, including disk, cloud, or active archives. In addition to data immutability, IT teams expect tighter integration between their disaster recovery, storage, and anti-ransomware systems with smart integrity controls, automatic sanity checks, global assessment, and monitoring of their security posture and cyber resiliency.

With the background energy crisis, storage teams will implement more automated data tiering to less energy-intensive storage that is more in line with data usage frequency. They will push end-users to self-drive their datasets to archive tiers in hybrid environments, increasing their cost/energy /security ratio. We also see growing expectations for converging structured and unstructured data from organizations leveraging big data volumes such as industrial or academic research, HPC, finance, etc. Viewing and analyzing all data types and storage is but a starting point; users are also expressing the need for simple and storage-agnostic global data management. To that end, a global namespace might be the answer to their needs. ~ Ferhat Kaddour, VP Sales & Alliances, Atempo

Ransomware and Cyber Risk Remain Top of Mind for Company Executives. With new threats emerging, more organizations will adopt a 3-2-1-1-0 data protection strategy. This approach includes keeping three copies of data on two different storage media types, one offsite and one offline, with zero errors (meaning organizations should verify the usability and accuracy of all backup copies). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is booming in virtually every industry. This method will alter the landscape of unstructured data – more of it will need to be stored, protected, and managed, in many cases, forever. As the implementation of regulations continues to progress around the world, video surveillance data will need to be stored, protected, and analyzed for much longer periods of time than we ever imagined. ~ Bruce Kornfeld, Chief Marketing and Product Officer, StorMagic

Fiscal and ESG Accountability Will Transform Data Center Infrastructures and Processes. Hyperscale and managed service providers will continue to mature in 2023, focusing on financial responsibility, thus forcing more emphasis on expense reduction and return on investment. ESG is also forcing these same companies to look hard at creating metrics that reflect lowering the contribution of CO2e prior to applying offsets. The influence of ESG on global companies will result in higher financial impacts on the companies and their customers. This shift in accountability and focus will drive transformations in the data centers. Energy, regardless of the manner in  which it is produced, is a valuable commodity. Reducing energy consumption improves the fiscal bottom line and results in a lower CO2e contribution from infrastructure. Data center leaders will be evaluating technology based on cost and ESG impact. This analysis will drive processes to move data to lower energy consumption models, models like moving data directly from operational flash to tape. Tape’s low cost of acquisition, low total cost of ownership, and sustainable design make it an ideal candidate for these infrastructures. Growth in tape hardware and media capacity shipments is expected to continue in 2023. ~ Kiyoshi Urabe, Business Line Executive Data Retention Infrastructures Product Manager, IBM


Alliance Members & Sponsors