Machine learning, intelligent machines, IoT, artificial intelligence -- the cybersphere continues to buzz with discussions on which technologies can put enterprises ahead of their competitors in business races.
At the core of most of these technologies, if not all, is data. Big data drives analytics, paves the way for smarter algorithms, enables machine learning, and delivers business advantages via IT.
Amidst all the high-level strategies, flattening storage budgets, and vendor hoopla, it's possible for IT decision makers to lose sight of how prepared their enterprises are in terms of data management. In this guide, we cover new data storage and data management trends that are shaping the present and future of how organizations deal with data.
No spin zone: SSDs may overtake traditional hard drives
Remember when Samsung unveiled its 15TB SAS solid state drive in 2.5 inch form factor in 2015? If that WOWed you, here's news. Seagate showcased a 60TB, 3.5 inch SAS solid state device drive in the Flash Memory Summit, and is close to hitting mass production in partnership with HPE.
It's all set to displace Samsung's 15TB devices as the large capacity enterprise SSD. Increasing device capacities is the latest trend in the flash drive market; this makes SSD flash drives a feasible enterprise storage option. SSD vendors are fighting the storage battle on grounds of high-density capacity, size tradeoffs, and storage capacities.
Russ Fellows of IT analyst firm Evaluator Group has said that SSDs will overtake spinning disks as the enterprise storage media of choice, and by 2020, SATA drives might even be completely replaced with high-density SSDs, because the price per gigabyte will be lower than spinning disks.
Hyper-converged storage solutions
Last year saw great buzz around hyper-converged storage. Hyper-converged system architectures work on the concept of consolidation and management of computing, storage resources, and networking, all via software. This enables them to run successfully on any server hardware from any vendor. Because of this, hyper-converged storage offers benefits such as cost effectiveness, scalability, and storage efficiency for enterprises.
Data recovery, however, is a concern. Because hyper-convergence consolidates storage via software, data recovery is complicated; it's not easy for data engineers to access sectors within disks. However, the pros outweigh the cons, and we expect enterprises to adopt more hyper-convergence storage solutions in the near future.
Energy efficiency a key to managing data growth challenges
Datacenter investment from market leaders such as AWS and IBM is on the rise. Particularly, 2016 saw a lot of investment done in the UK, where datacenters consume 2 percent of the annual electricity distributed in the country. The World Meteorological Organization has predicted higher temperatures for 2017 and the years beyond, which puts into perspective the significance of energy saving “cooling” methods used in datacenters, globally.
Smart-UPS, intelligent-lighting systems, and other means to reduce carbon footprints will become more relevant than ever in the times to come. Ride your bike!
For enterprises that manage their own datacenters, and for vendors that deliver datacenter-driven services, any incremental effort that results in reduction of energy consumption expenditure will translate into significant long-term dollar savings. That's because datacenter lifetimes are long, and power requirements remain constant.
Changes in cloud data storage models
Data outages continue to be a disrupter for enterprises as well as vendors handling multimillion dollar annual cloud storage contracts. The biggest example of how powerless enterprises can become during an outage is the Amazon S3 outage that rocked the web for almost four hours on February 28.
These experiences will force enterprises to consider data-storage models that give them better control and disaster-recovery options than a public cloud model. This will steer the focus toward hybrid cloud data storage models where enterprises will keep critical data on premises and rest on public cloud.
Also, cloud storage contract negotiations will gravitate toward the data recovery, business continuity, and disaster management capabilities that the vendor can offer. An ActualTech Media research study covering more than 400 U.S. and UK organizations estimates that hybrid cloud storage adoption will double in 2017.
Some technologies will see consolidation
Data backup and disaster recovery work hand in hand, sort of like Michael Bay and his awesome Transformer movies. Going forward, technologies that achieve these IT goals are bound to consolidate to offer granular control to enterprises in terms of the reverting systems to known stable states. Generally, disaster recovery is centered on reverting the system to a recent enough backed-up version, mostly about a few hours back in time.
However, vendors are already offering advanced disaster-recovery and data-backup hybrid options that make it possible for you to switch systems back to recent states of just a few seconds. SLAs around disaster recovery and data backup are becoming more demanding for vendors, and this is likely to bring a push in the maturity and sophistication of technologies that enable business continuity.
GPUs go mainstream
Windows 10 is expected to grow stronger and strengthen as a vital enterprise OS option. Traditionally, Windows sustenance has been a result of the switching hassles faced by enterprises looking to replace Windows. Going forward, Windows 10's success will be driven by the high-end user experience it can deliver by leveraging GPUs.
Virtual workspaces, traditionally, can make do without dedicated graphics processing hardware. However, with enterprise apps like Office 365, and even Windows 10 OS depending on GPUs, graphics processing power will make its way in enterprise hardware.
Value your data
Ask any CIO: Data is an enterprise's most valued digital asset. Stay in sync with the latest from the world of data management and storage. Use your updated knowledge to cut through all the marketing clutter, and help your enterprise achieve its data security, archiving, storage, and access goals. And when you choose a password, do not choose the word password!
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