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FileShadow 2020 Predictions: The Impact of Cloud Vault Technologies

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Tyrone F. Pike, CEO, FileShadow Inc.

The Impact of Cloud Vault Technologies

Cloud storage solutions have been around since the beginning of the Cloud, but typically have not been secure. For our 2020 predictions, we see tremendous growth of secure cloud vaults, DaaS and VDI solutions that can eliminate local file vulnerability. Increasing awareness of the risk of local file asset exposure will cause users to find ways to place their files in secure cloud locations. There, users can operate on them outside of a local device, keeping them out of harm's way. We predict that secure cloud vault technologies, in conjunction with DaaS and VDI, will have a major impact in 2020.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) gaining traction

Ransomware attacks are burgeoning-Atlanta, Baltimore, Albany, Riviera Beach, 22 small towns in Texas and at least 40 municipalities this year already have been subject to ransomware attacks. This number doesn't include the massive amount of hacks on corporations. In 2020, cities and corporations will fight back-but not in the way you might think. Until now, the strategy was to fill vulnerable holes and secure systems as tightly as possible, preventing any type of attack. While that is still a legitimate and necessary strategy, next year will bring widespread adoption of the completely remote virtual desktop-DaaS protection against ransomware and malware.

A true DaaS is a perfect way to stop the destruction of infrastructure, and loss of files and data. With DaaS, there is no infrastructure to damage, because nothing on the system is local. The only point of weakness is the master VDI server. If that's destroyed or compromised, companies reinstall their systems, and users pick up right where they left off-because data stays in the Cloud. We're seeing these types of systems being built and installed with companies such as Amazon WorkSpaces, Citrix Workspace, VMware Horizon, Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop and IOXO, which provides hosted DaaS solutions. These installations place all of the computing in the Cloud or as a hybrid on-premise/cloud solution. Removing endpoints, the traditional areas of attack, reduces most critical vulnerabilities.

While large companies can afford staffing and purpose-built, high-end protection systems to prevent attacks, small ones aren't in the same financial position. That's why an off-premise solution is excellent for small businesses. Companies don't need to build out their own secure data centers, they can subscribe to a secure DaaS or VDI service with vaulted storage. With this solution, small businesses can have all of the services that large companies do. Watch for this solution to become more prevalent in 2020.   

Bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to archiving

File archiving, in some fashion, has been around since the beginning of recorded history. At the turn of the new decade, AI will help accelerate archiving by automatically analyzing content and accelerating retrieval by addressing the ever-growing "big data" problem. Metadata derived by AI analysis will be enhanced to create an extensive, searchable metadata center. Using AI, documents of all kinds can be automatically classified so that users can find relevant documents quickly, even among very large volume sets.

In the archiving market, the focus has traditionally been on collecting and then manually indexing content if time and resources allowed. AI and Machine Learning (ML) are bringing new attention in 2020 to both the storage and retrieval of content. Cloud systems, such as Wasabi, Google, AWS, etc., have long been providing cost-effective and reliable storage. Now, AI and ML add value by enhancing the stored data. For example, photos can be analyzed and tagged automatically. Looking for pictures of the family reunion in Florida? Want to publish photos of your ski trip to Utah? AI automatically categorizes, indexes and publishes content based on what is contained in the image. And, it's pretty effective-AI does most of the work. AI/ML will help archivists and genealogists make huge strides in organizing, categorizing and publishing photos without using the "traditional" folder structure system, and without manually evaluating one photo at a time. The only work that needs to be completed is a general audit of pictures and categories.

Also important is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of scanned documents. Many people have documents that were not "born digital" that need to be scanned and archived in a digital format, such as Adobe PDF. OCR provides an integral source for metadata by making these scanned pages searchable, putting them on par with any documents that were created digitally. Do you have an old contract, deed, will, etc., that needs to be archived and indexed digitally? Want to preserve an ancestor's journal in a digital format? With AI/ML, you can not only scan a document to digital format, but you can also index and search for the contents in the PDF version of the journal or contract. Need to find that story but don't know where it is? You can now search for it by keyword or phrase.

Virtual Hybrid apps

Traditionally, there have been local apps and cloud apps. Today, there are new virtual hybrid app solutions gaining traction that have a portion of the app on the local device for presentation purposes and a part of the app in the Cloud. These hybrid apps are similar to virtual desktops-but for your phone or almost any device. This style of application delivery is highly secure because both pieces are needed to conduct a transaction.

With virtual hybrid apps, you access the app from any device with minimal download capability. The app on the phone will be a shell or a window to access the real content stored in the Cloud-just the authorization and credentials to access the features and functionality of the app is run through your device.

An example of this is the Delta Airlines app, where the app runs on a local device, but the data resides in the Cloud. The local app itself merely manages the presentation of the data to the user. For instance, a user can go in and change their seat on a flight by using their mobile device, and the modifications updated in the cloud application will be available to view on any other device as well.

These virtual apps will start appearing with greater velocity in 2020.

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About the Author

Tyrone F. Pike, President and CEO of FileShadow

Tyrone Pike 

Mr. Tyrone F. Pike is the Founder of FileShadow, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and President. With more than 35 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Tyrone has held numerous top executive positions in software, software systems integration and networking infrastructure companies, including Solid Instance, Sparxent Inc., Bravara Communication, Inc. and InterNAP Network Services Corporate. In 1996, he founded VPNX.com and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. As Founder and Chairman of LAN Systems, he guided its successful product line and then negotiated the sale of LAN Systems' software division to Intel Corporation and its systems integration division to RR Donnelly & Sons. His expertise spans across a wide range of domain areas: cloud computing, messaging, archiving, disaster recovery, networking and Web services. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Solid Instance, Inc. He has served as a Director of Citrix Systems, Inc. and Sparxent Inc. Mr. Pike holds an AB in Architecture from Princeton University.

Published Monday, December 30, 2019 7:24 AM by David Marshall
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