IT Focus Area: infrastructure operations
October 25, 2017
Top 5 Storage Trends for 2018: What You Should Know
IT teams are tired of refreshing their storage every few years.
Storage refreshes are time-consuming and expensive. The refresh process can also put you at risk. For example, you might accidentally leave data on your old system. This can impact your availability and make it hard for you to conduct backups.
In the past, you didn’t have options that would reduce your risks and help you escape the never-ending refresh cycle.
But luckily, times are changing.
You can now lower your expenses and gain efficiencies by moving to a flexible, consumption-based storage model. Hybrid cloud options allow you to operationalize your monthly costs and scale your storage on-demand.
Here are the top five storage trends that will impact your data center in 2018:
1. Flash will get bigger and faster.
According to IDC, the all-flash storage array market grew 75.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017, over the same period in 2016, to reach $1.4 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, hybrid flash sales hit $2 billion.
Flash sales will stay strong in 2018, as the technology grows faster while its prices continue to drop. Soon, transfer rates of 10 gigabytes per second will be the new normal. Manufacturers are already testing units that will boost your performance and help you reduce the number of servers that you need to store your data.
Meanwhile, every flash memory manufacturer has announced advances in their technology. In particular, storage class memory will shake up the market. This type of memory is both non-volatile and low-latency, which can lead to a 10x boost in your system and application performance.
In addition, manufacturers will start to combine all-flash storage with hyperconvergence. This will allow you to install an all-flash array with a lightening-fast backend that lets your clusters to share the same resources.
But watch out …
In 2018, flash storage will become so popular that we will see shortages of its raw materials as vendors struggle to meet demand. Be sure to plan ahead if you want to take advantage of all-flash storage.
2. 2018 will be the year of services delivery.
With HCI, you don’t need to purchase storage from a third-party vendor or maintain separate hardware. HCI vendors built storage directly into your infrastructure.
In fact, many vendors will no longer sell micro-services, such as separate storage or backups. We have already seen companies, such as Dell EMC, consolidate their services to offer a complete virtualized infrastructure on a single platform.
3. You will get business analytics in five clicks or less.
In the past, enterprises thought that analytics were “nice to have” but didn’t fully configure them in their IT environments.
But in 2018, analytics will have a significant impact on your storage. More enterprises are relying on analytics to improve their performance, availability, and data management.
Vendors are embedding “five-clicks-or-less” analytics tools into their storage solutions to help you quickly find information. For example, you can locate the cause of a problem or track usage across your enterprise.
4. Enterprises will flock to software-defined storage.
Leading vendors are starting to add software-defined services in their storage rollouts, and we will see this trend strengthen in 2018.
Software-defined storage will support your legacy assets, allowing you to take advantage of subscription or consumption-based storage models.
One major driver for software-defined storage is the Internet-of-Things (IoT). The number of IoT devices in enterprises is rapidly increasing. According to Machina Research, 48 percent of companies are using IoT technologies. Meanwhile, another 43 percent plan to deploy IoT by early 2018.
These devices are collecting massive amounts of data.
Your IoT analytics can help you improve your efficiencies and gain insights into your customers. But when you combine IoT data with the data that you collect from other systems, you put a huge burden on your storage.
Hyperconverged infrastructure reduces this burden by putting all of your data in one place. Software-defined storage (SDS) can also help you leverage software enhancements that utilize the analytics output by classifying, tracking, and moving data to the appropriate locations within your storage environment.
HCI will be the foundation of the data lake for most IT organizations. By placing data in one place, the data lake, the analytics will apply the meta-data for classification and tracking purposes. SDS makes it easy for you to scale while reducing your storage assets. It also optimizes your operational management through simplified administration while mobility engines facilitate data lifecycle management.
5. Multi-cloud storage will better protect your data.
In 2018, more enterprises will use hybrid delivery models and store their workloads across multiple clouds. This model calls for flexible storage that will boost your efficiencies when you place data across public, private, and hybrid clouds.
With multi-cloud storage, you can also reduce your risks of data loss or downtime if one of your services fails. For example, if your public cloud provider has an outage, your customers can still access data that you replicate across other clouds.
Is Your Storage Ready to Meet 2018’s IT and Business Demands?
Refreshing your storage every few years drains your IT resources. Since IT teams are under pressure to deliver services faster, you can’t afford to spend most of your time keeping the lights on.
2018’s new storage options will help your IT team shift from tactical firefighters to strategic business partners.
The longer you wait to shift to a hyperconverged storage model, the harder it will be to keep pace with business demands. Legacy environments cannot support the IT transformation that you need to remain competitive.
If you’re not sure which types of storage are best for you, a partner can guide you in the right direction. Working with a partner can help you bridge your storage gaps, boost your efficiencies, and stay ahead in your market.
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