Top Data Storage and Active Archive Predictions for 2018
The past year has seen a rise in new technologies that have evolved around machine learning, smart cities, internet of things (IoT), video surveillance and 4K resolution video. These new advances are spurring an accelerated growth in digital data that needs to be stored, protected and readily available at the same time. This changing data landscape and new approaches like using metadata to more easily manage and categorize data, will continue to impact the data storage industry.
To address these needs, members of the Active Archive Alliance recently shared their 2018 predictions for data storage and the evolving role of active archives. Top trends to watch include:
Machine Learning and Metadata Will Drive Cross-platform Storage and Data Management
The increased importance of metadata aggregation as a data management tool combined with machine learning will increasingly bring automation to what are mostly manual IT management tasks today. New vendor-neutral, metadata-driven tools are emerging that bridge incompatible storage types and use cases to enable global cross-platform management of data and storage resources. This trend will simplify IT management and increase user productivity by reducing downtime. Such tools will also simplify the creation of active archives, so they can become an even more seamless, automatic experience, regardless of which storage media are in use today or in the future.
Smart Cities Will Become Safer Cities
The growing number of safe city reference projects will motivate government and city officials to launch their own projects, ensuring their cities are not left behind technologically with increased safety risk. Smart cities require an environment with the ability to alleviate, monitor and respond to security threats. As city risk levels have increased, the use of technology to secure urban centers has expanded to include the use of many different sensors connected through the IoT. Active archives offer new ways for governments and emergency services to store and quickly access data to help detect threats to citizens, mitigate and provide an emergency response to them. Connecting previously separate technologies into an integrated active archive can offer benefits including: faster response times, multi-agency collaboration, budget and data sharing, improved civilian engagement and the ability to provide real-time intelligence and communications support to front line services.
Changing Data Landscape Will Bring New Storage Technologies
Storage vendors will have to look at producing even higher density solutions in 2018 as big data use continues to grow within businesses. The winners will be those that bring new technologies to market quickly. Storage companies will also begin to shift from simply providing hardware to offering businesses the level of service they need. As more organizations look for integrated solutions that work from end-to-end within their storage environment, a change in buying behavior will occur where ‘solutions buying’ replaces the previous ‘point product buying’ of IT departments.
Video Surveillance Growth Will Provide Opportunity for Active Archives
Video surveillance systems will continue to experience rapid growth driven by several factors including increased security threats, new legislation, ever-evolving IoT, and law enforcement applications. Increased affordability and steadily increasing resolutions that include 4K or better will also contribute to this growth. The need for active archives will increase as organizations require affordable solutions that allow them to maintain online access to all of their surveillance content in a multi-tiered storage system that leverages the speed of disk and flash with the superior economics of tape. With an active archive, organizations will be able to easily and cost effectively maintain more surveillance content at higher resolutions for longer retention periods and can maintain this on-premises to safely control chain of custody.
4K and Higher Will Begin to Dominate Production Choice; SSD/Flash Will Make Greater Inroads
4K and higher format resolutions are quickly becoming the norm. With most professional cameras now being 4K ready, the residual benefits in post-production include flexibility for re-purposing as well as meeting the stringent requirements of organizations such as Netflix. As 4K adoption increases, the need to wrangle larger amounts of data has quadrupled (if not more). SSD/Flash offers a ready answer to data wrangling and speed issues when dealing with big files and large quantities of data. In addition, SSD/Flash based SAN and NAS systems will also make inroads into environments that are also now faced with the challenge of orchestrating huge amounts of data pouring in from the field. An SSD-based SAN can allow users to offload, ingest, edit and grade far more efficiently than their spinning disk cousins.
Nearline and Object Storage Disk and Tape Usage Will Rise
What Flash provides in performance, it takes away in capacity. Users will look to Nearline/Object disk and tape to fill the gaps. As “online” storage systems get faster yet smaller, users will look to bigger buckets of disk and tape storage to house their content. Nearline and object storage systems will be used to “park” content as “online” storage space will come at a premium.
LTO-8 Will Strengthen Tape’s Market Position
Tape is making a strong statement with the introduction of LTO-8. As a medium, LTO-8 and LTO-8 Type M cartridges offer tremendous capacity and performance at an unbelievable cost (LTO-8 Type M at 9TB raw, 300 MB/s and about $75 per cartridge). This offers users an excellent long-term storage solution and safety net for their growing quantities of data. While users will use Nearline/object storage to park their data, LTO tape will continue to offer backup protection and support long term active archive solutions.
Metadata Aggregation Will Address Right-to-Privacy Rules, Such as GDPR
In May 2018, the European Union will start enforcement of the Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a strict set of regulations regarding management and deletion of personal data. Any company from any country that has customers in Europe must comply or face punishing fines of up to four percent of annual gross worldwide revenues or €20 million, whichever is greater. The most onerous provision is the Right-to-be-Forgotten Article 17, which requires that all copies of any personal data be removed from all data stores, including all backups and archives. This trend increases the importance of metadata aggregation to power global data policies across incompatible storage types and locations. This aggregation ensures that personal data can be isolated quickly in a single global operation, and assists data managers to certify that all copies of such data are identified, isolated, and destroyed.
Cloud Archive Will be Ubiquitous Both On- and Off-Premise
2018 will see continued growth in adoption of software-defined-storage (SDS), cloud native architectures and business models. Hardware will continue to commoditize; even hyper-converged offerings. This will lead to broader adoption of SDS in various incarnations. As cloud economics puts pressure on non-cloud infrastructure vendors, new business models will emerge enabling increased similarity between off-premise and on-premise offerings.
AI and Data Visualization Will be Broadly Adopted in Enterprise for Active Archive Use Cases
No one is arguing about the massive growth of data. IoT, 8K, Autonomy, machine learning are unrelenting drivers of data growth. With that growth, users will need more tools to leverage those files to find the valuable nuggets in the files, to find the files in the first place, and to manage the costs of storing and moving those files. There will be increased emphasis on tools that can help maximize the value of content – primarily in the form of AI to increase intelligence about content, and data visualization software to improve access and cost of storing data based on where it is in its active life.
As the storage industry continues to evolve along with the increasing growth of data, the need to balance speed of access with the cost of storage remains. Active archives provide an ideal solution for this by allowing organizations to easily access all of their data all of the time. 2018 will continue to be a year of growth and innovation and the members of the Active Archive Alliance are poised to bring together the best technologies to help organizations more effectively manage their data for the long term.
The following Active Archive Alliance members contributed to this list: Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A, Inc., Spectra Logic Corp., StorageDNA, StrongBox Data Solutions and Quantum Corp.