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Spectra Logic 2018 Predictions: Multiple Backups will be Key in 2018

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Matt Starr, CTO of Spectra Logic

Multiple backups will be key in 2018

As we wrap up the year it's time to do some forecasting; what's next in the world of data storage? One thing is for sure, data creation will increase exponentially in 2018, making the total amount of data in the world nearly undefinable. While existing storage technologies will rise to meet new data demands, the overall the storage industry won't see a huge boost to either spending or new technologies. Spectra Logic forecasted this and other impacts on the storage digital universe through 2026 in the Digital Data Storage Outlook 2017.

Here are a few other Spectra Logic predictions for the storage landscape 2018:

CIO vs. CFO vs. IT Manager

As cloud storage advances, there seems to be differing opinions in boardrooms on how to handle storage solutions. A CIO will traditionally look to the cloud for its technology and hype-factor, but the IT Manager may not agree, due to the risks. A CFO will approach it from a financial standpoint and like the option of low cost cloud storage, but an IT Manager may recognize hidden costs in the fine print. Additionally, the IT Manager will want a local onsite copy for protection in the event of a natural disaster or cyberattack.

Cloud storage comes with immense risks; if an organization runs out of money or is even a little behind on payments, the cloud provider will delete their data. Or worse, if you're paying on time, but that cloud start-up goes out of business, your data is in jeopardy. The cost savings is appealing to the CFO, and the technology to the CIO, but without the true understanding of the technology, companies are likely to get burned with one of their most valuable assets: data. These disagreements are taking place all over, and the toughest job belongs to the IT manager: presenting the risks of the cloud when executives are eyeing cost savings.

Flash and Tape Continue Trajectory

Expect to see flash and tape storage technologies on an upward trajectory in 2018. One reason for this is this uptick is cybercrime. Massive cyberattacks at the enterprise level in 2017 have made the industry re-think security and storage in general. Organizations not using tape storage are playing with fire, as a cyberattack could wipe data out, both internal and external. The level of sophistication with cyberattacks has increased greatly, and the only way to ensure data will be protected is through tape storage. Tape doesn't just benefit large enterprise; ransomware attackers are now targeting companies of all sizes. While hackers can attack a file system, they can't touch tape - particularly libraries that are geographically dispersed.

Flash storage technology is consuming the disk market, and this will continue in 2018. Flash has been able to increase in capacity to correspond with the increase in data. As data grows, organizations can store their data on the same number of flash or tape drives. However, disk has been unable to keep up with the rapid data growth in a cost-efficient manner, and we expect this to continue. 

Cloud Providers Go Vertical

One cloud trend to look for in 2018 is the emergence of specialized, vertical cloud providers for backup and archive. These third-party providers will specialize in certain industries, whether it's high performance computing (HPC), bioinformatics or media and entertainment. We're seeing this already in broadcast, where smaller networks are relying on large players to store their content. This is happening in museums as well, where the Imperial War Museums (IWM) across England are providing cloud services to curate and store other museums' content.

The benefit of specialized clouds is that the provider knows the industry and its regulations. Amazon may not be able to ensure the same compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for a bioinformatics company than a large company in that space. We expect this trend to continue and cloud offerings to become increasingly tailored.

Although the technology won't change in 2018, there is still a lot of interesting subplots to look for in data storage. Exponential data growth and troubling security realities makes 2018 an interesting year for our industry. Storing data is not an optional task for most organizations, and will continue to be a business-critical focus as we move further into 2018. It's vital for growth, protection and customer loyalty. Considering trends in tape, disk, flash and cloud, organizations need to think smarter when it comes to storage. What's ‘new' or ‘cheapest' may become a liability.


About the Author

Matt Starr 

Matt Starr is the chief technology officer of Spectra Logic Corporation. Matt has been with Spectra for over 25 years, defining product vision and serving as the company's voice in the market. Follow him @StarrFiles. 

Published Wednesday, November 08, 2017 5:01 AM by David Marshall
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