In this article, we delve into eight key data storage trends that are reshaping the very foundations of IT infrastructure, providing an uncharted roadmap for the year ahead. From storage as a service to advanced AI-driven operations, these trends are poised to create a new era in the world of data storage, one that is both exciting and transformative.
Let’s embark on a journey into the world of data storage and explore the trends that will define 2024 and beyond.
1. Storage as a Service (STaaS)
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for as-a-Service solutions, particularly in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This data storage trend is set to reshape the market, with IDC forecasting the emergence of new services centered around hybrid cloud platforms and collaborative partnerships for secure and integrated delivery.
Experts predict that by 2028, consumption-based Storage as a Service (STaaS) will have replaced a remarkable 35% of enterprise storage capital expenditures (capex), up from a meager 10% in 2023. This underscores the escalating need for flexible and cost-efficient data storage solutions.
The increase in remote work has not only increased the attraction of cloud-based solutions, but it has also increased their security. Digital transformation, facilitated by the as-a-Service model, has become a cornerstone of modern business, demanding agility and responsiveness to stay competitive in an evolving landscape. In essence, the rapid adoption of digitalization has made it increasingly challenging to revert to traditional consumption models, much like returning to buying physical CDs in the age of music streaming.
2. AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations)
Picture storage solutions that not only store your data but also possess the intelligence to manage it efficiently. AIOps is becoming the backbone of modern storage. It offers benefits including proactive anomaly detection, predictive analytics for optimized data storage, intelligent automation of routine tasks, swift problem resolution through root cause analysis, and enhanced Data Storage Service Management integration. These capabilities enhance data storage efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve data availability, paving the way for a smarter future.
3. Cybersecurity and Ransomware Protection
According to the Veeam 2023 Data Protection Trends Report, 85% of organizations experienced ransomware attacks last year, with 84% forced to pay ransoms, resulting in significant financial losses. To mitigate these threats, organizations must prioritize early ransomware protection measures as the attacks grow increasingly sophisticated, making it essential to defend against them proactively.
Accordingly, primary storage vendors are stepping up their game and now offering advanced ransomware detection and recovery solutions. This enhanced cybersecurity approach is a lifeline for businesses, ensuring their data remains safe from the clutches of ransomware attacks.
4. Hybrid Cloud Integration
The fast migration to the cloud was largely driven by the flood of remote workers and shifting client demands, which necessitated greater company agility. According to Forrester, already 94% of enterprise IT decision-makers in the United States are employing some form of cloud deployment last year.
Despite the prevailing push toward cloud-native approaches, the practical reality is that many companies will opt to retain their critical systems on private clouds or on-premises infrastructure. Simultaneously, they leverage public clouds for business operations and customer services, resulting in an increase in hybrid cloud adoption to serve different purposes.
To be able to seamlessly move your data between these worlds, aligning your storage strategy with the demands of modern IT operations, who wouldn’t want that? It’s no surprise that this data storage trend is gaining traction, offering a breath of fresh air in terms of data mobility and flexibility.
5. Reducing Carbon Emissions
Sustainability is not just a buzzword; it’s a mission. The carbon footprint of data storage is ascending among industries, surpassing even the commercial airline sector in terms of carbon emissions. Some vendors are going green by focusing on storage solutions with low carbon emissions. The data here speaks volumes: with only four kilograms of CO2 emissions per terabyte per year, this data storage trend is setting new standards for sustainability.
6. NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express)
The rise of NVMe technology is transforming the storage landscape and enhancing storage capabilities through its lightning-fast data transfer with minimal latency. Although challenges like cost, backward compatibility, and awareness persist, the market holds promise in enterprise storage, cloud computing, gaming, and consumer electronics.
It’s also worth noting that while NVMe is climbing up the data storage trend, some vendors are still playing catch-up, particularly in supporting NVMe-over-TCP, limiting deployment options for those who crave the speed. Yet, the stage is set for NVMe to continue its ascent, fostering an optimistic outlook for its future.
7. Flexible Financing Models
Budget has always been one of the top challenges for numerous IT departments within companies. The substantial costs associated with implementing IT infrastructure often result in a hesitancy to upgrade or explore new systems, creating what is commonly termed “vendor lock-in.” In a bid to become more customer-centric, certain vendors are rewriting the playbook by introducing diverse financing models.
This initiative facilitates businesses adapting to the evolving landscape. The narrative unfolds as a notable story of transformation, transitioning from conventional capital expenditures to more flexible and adaptive consumption-based models.
8. Simplified Onboarding and Ease of Use
As IT infrastructure solidifies its role as the foundation of data management for businesses, customers now prioritize not only advanced features, but also a seamless user experience. The emphasis is on simplicity, allowing businesses to channel their efforts into the profit-generating core of their operations. Consequently, vendors are directing investments toward tools and features that streamline onboarding processes, enabling businesses to commence operations swiftly and effortlessly, free from the complexities of intricate setups.
The future of IT infrastructure is unfolding before our eyes. It becomes evident that embracing data storage trends such as storage as a service, AIOps, robust cybersecurity, and hybrid cloud integration is not just an option but a necessity. We’ve been quietly implementing most of these advancements since 2016, not to boast, but to stay ahead in the data-driven landscape. The imperative for businesses to thrive in this digitally competitive world hinges on their readiness to adopt these transformative technologies.
The call to adapt is unmistakable, and the choice is crystal clear. Organizations must decide whether to ride the wave of innovation or risk fading into the realm of outdated technology. The future beckons, and those with the courage to seize the opportunity will navigate the evolving digital landscape with confidence and foresight.