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CloudBerry Lab 2016 Predictions: Major Trends and Events Expected to Shape the Cloud and Backup Industry Next Year

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Alexander Negrash, marketing director at CloudBerry Lab

2016 Cloud Storage Predictions from CloudBerry Lab

The year 2016 is nearly upon us, and every IT-department spends the last weeks of December on planning, development and forecasting the maintenance budget. At this stage, it is important to be aware of upcoming changes on the cloud storage market and how they fit existing backup, computing and virtualization needs.

At CloudBerry Lab, we constantly monitor new approaches to cloud storage services and predict market changes to improve our software. Here are the major trends and events we expect to shape the cloud and backup industry next year.

Microsoft Azure Will Get Cold

AWS's success with Amazon Glacier archival storage and all the hoopla around Google Cloud Storage Nearline will force other big cloud vendors, especially Microsoft Azure, to create their own cold storage services. New cold storage will help Microsoft Azure users who suffered from the inability to configure backup lifecycle policies in Microsoft Azure and to distribute their backup generations to other storage services. Individual users will also migrate to cold storage for data that requires infrequent access in order to take advantage of cold storage cost savings.

While it's still a tough task to beat Amazon Glacier's $0,007 and Google Nearline's $0,01 per stored GB, Microsoft still can exceed its competitors by reducing data retrieval time, decreasing retrieval request costs and shorten the early deletion period. Nevertheless, cold storage by Microsoft is on its way and therefore pricing cuts are expected within the cloud storage industry.

Cloud Storage Will Split into Three

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) model of dividing its main Simple Storage Service (S3) into three basic classes or services will become a trend on the cloud storage market as a whole in 2016. In addition to Amazon S3 for hot data and Amazon Glacier storage for cold data, AWS significantly broadened its storage options with Standard I/A class in November. Standard I/A class provides a middle ground between cold and hot storage by providing a home for infrequently-accessed data that still needs to be available in less than four hours (minimal retrieval time in Amazon Glacier).

The new storage class opens excellent possibilities for configuring object lifecycle policies for enterprise backup needs. For instance, in AWS S3 storage, older backup generations can be superseded by new versions and transferred to the Standard I/A class. When an even newer version appears, this backup archive can be submitted to Amazon Glacier to further decrease storage costs.

We expect other cloud vendors to split their storage services in a similar way, so even non-S3 compatible storage services users could implement full object lifecycle into their backup schedule. Consequently, demand will grow for software that integrates into the new structure and automates intelligent cloud data lifecycle policies and strategies.

Bandwidth Struggles for Data Upload Will End

Small and medium-sized business continue to struggle with internet bandwidth, which will lead to a boom in new data migration services and devices. During re:Invent 2015, AWS dedicated part of its keynote session to the Snowball device for a reason: the market giants are looking for new customers to cheaply transfer all business operations to the cloud.

AWS Import/Export Snowball is a service that ships a hardened device to customers on which they can put more than a petabyte of data and which, in turn, is sent back to Amazon, who then transfers the data to the cloud. Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure won't allow AWS take the lead for long, so expect other migration services from other vendors to launch in 2016. With the development of fast, cheap and reliable ways to transfer large amounts of data, more and more enterprises are going to migrate to the cloud.

See you in 2016!

The past year (2015 it is) has brought many advances in cloud storage technologies such as new storage classes, new players in the field and significant price reductions. And given how rapidly the cloud storage market is growing and developing, there's one last prediction we can make that we are 100 percent certain will come true: there will be some big surprises coming in 2016. As such, IT-departments and developer teams should not only take the predictions we've made into account while making plans for the coming year, but also be sure to incorporate flexibility in their development strategy so they can roll with the punches as the market inevitably does something that shocks us all.


About the Author

Alexander Negrash is marketing director at CloudBerry Lab, a vendor of backup and management solutions for public cloud storage services, and expert at the cloud backup market.

Published Friday, December 18, 2015 10:02 AM by David Marshall
Trends & Forecasts in Cloud Storage - Boston Commons High Tech - (Author's Link) - January 2, 2016 11:11 AM
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