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Spectra Logic 2017 Predictions: Managing Storage Solutions Key in 2017

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Matt Starr, CTO, Spectra Logic

Managing Storage Solutions Key in 2017

2017 will be a steady year for the data storage industry. While we don't expect to see a massive increase in spending, we do anticipate a large uptick in data creation. As our technology continues to improve, various factors such as better resolution, increased frame rates, and improved scans and equipment will expand our digital universe in a big way. Enterprise tape and cloud strategies will be at the forefront in addressing our data growth in the coming year. Here are Spectra Logic's 2017 storage predictions, with an eye toward cloud and tape:

New focus on the hidden costs of the cloud

There is an interesting dynamic between CIOs and IT managers on the front lines when it comes to cloud deployments. IT managers are frequently told to move to the cloud because it's the "next big thing" and promises a lower cost of storage, but when they crunch the numbers, it's often far more expensive than it seems on the surface. Cloud providers have a very different cost model, and this can lead to budgeting concerns when the structure is far different from what most IT managers plan for.

Discrepancies come from the hidden costs of the cloud. While upfront costs are minimal, the recurring cost of continuing to store data in the cloud can become expensive as data grows. The cost of recalling data can also be an unforeseen expense. Without proper vetting, cloud storage could be a major cost headache for organizations in 2017, as cloud providers often make it difficult to fully understand how they're managing data. Most of the core details are in the fine print, and IT managers that are brand new to the cloud, may unknowingly gloss over important terms and conditions.  Along with storage cost is the addition of an internet pipe bandwidth.  Most users today are using 70-80% of their available bandwidth for normal operations, adding remote storage can increase internet pipe cost by 10x.
IT managers should investigate "cloud-like" technologies, such as the Spectra® BlackPearl® Deep Storage Gateway, and the total cost differences before making a decision. While the cloud is "hot" and has its benefits, managing hidden costs will be of vast importance for IT managers in 2017.   Any customer forced or by free will going to cloud should have a formal back out plan, and know the cost to come off the cloud system.

Increased integration of different tiers of object storage

This is certainly one to keep an eye on as we head into 2017 and beyond. As organizations seek to build joint or complete solutions that span storage mediums, we will see disk or disk-flash based object storage talking to tape storage products. A key enabler, the cost of flash is dropping faster than traditional disk, shrinking disk's market share on the high end and mobile segments. Tape archiving comes into play in segments where data has become cold, for companies seeking affordable archive solutions. Increased integration of all these technologies will offer more flexibility for customers, allowing them to deploy more comprehensive data storage solutions with the proper cost per gig and watt per gig.

Growing emphasis on disaster recovery

Cyber threats are in full force at the enterprise level; just look at the new on the US 2016 presidential election.  There are new threats, the more traditional cyber-criminal, the hacktivist and now foreign governments attacking foreign corporations.  The amount of sensitive information held by leading institutions is very enticing to cyber-criminals, and hacking methods are becoming more sophisticated by the year. New ransomware schemes and other cybercrimes puts major emphasis on the need for strong disaster recovery storage solutions, and it will be vital for IT managers to establish these solutions in 2017, if they haven't already. Plain and simple, organizations without disaster recovery are already behind and putting their customer base at risk.

Continued leadership of enterprise tape for digital preservation

When the question, where should we keep our data long term is raised, enterprise tape will be a much more popular answer in 2017. As the data sets continue to grow, disk won't always be the best choice.  The current disk technology are nearing the end of their roadmap, and the cost per gig for disk is not declining like it did 10 years ago.  This will make enterprise tape the natural choice for growing data sets, particularly for organizations seeking digital preservation long-term.  Tape gives genetic diversity, air-gap and better ECC than disk, allowing it to store cold data for a long time.

While 2017 will be steady in the world of data storage, it won't be stagnant. Cloud talk will be at the forefront, with organizations focused on how to navigate its complexities and asking, is it really the best solution for my data? Enterprise tape will extend its reach and reputation for low-cost storage and long-term digital preservation, particularly as data sets continue to grow faster than budgets, and cyber threats become increasingly tougher to handle.


About the Author

Matt Starr is the chief technology officer of Spectra Logic, the deep storage experts. 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.

Matt Starr

Published Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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