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Cloudian 2021 Predictions: Kubernetes, ransomware, object storage and more - key storage trends in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Kubernetes, ransomware, object storage and more - key storage trends in 2021

By Jon Toor, CMO, Cloudian

2020 has been a year of significant change for many industries, forcing them to reconsider their IT strategies. With these strategies continuing to evolve in 2021, enterprises will want to ensure they have the right storage infrastructure for managing and protecting their growing data and maximizing the value of that data.

As we look toward the coming year, therefore, we think the following eight trends will play a key role in the storage landscape.

Public cloud and on-prem storage will merge: All public cloud providers now offer on-prem solutions, which positions public cloud and on-prem as environments that should work in combination, rather than being viewed as an either/or decision. In addition, enterprise storage providers have upped their cloud game, building new solutions that work with the public cloud rather than competing with it. As both sides move towards the center, the inevitable result is that organizations will come to view public cloud and on-prem as two sides of the enterprise storage coin.

Cyber insurers will demand more robust data protection. Although cyber insurance will back enterprises up if a breach occurs, insurers will expect their customers to do everything possible to protect against one to minimize risk. It will be critical for enterprises to implement data storage with the right set of security protections to be eligible for cyber insurance and receive the best rates in 2021.

Ransom will be taken out of ransomware in 2021. As remote work and learning continues into 2021, ransomware attacks will become more manageable as enterprises will opt for immutable backup data repositories on top of perimeter security solutions. This ensures they can restore a clean copy of data in the event of an attack, without needing to pay the ransom. Ransomware will no longer be a potential catastrophe, causing downtime rather than an existential threat of date being held hostage for exorbitant sums.

Self-managing storage in data centers will become mainstream. Automation will expand as a critical component of storage systems to replicate data for disaster recovery, manage immutable copies of data, monitor hardware for potential failures and proactively initiate replacement tickets. Enterprises will increasingly rely on automation to reduce outages and disruptions with predictive maintenance - ultimately saving costs, enhancing security and adapting to evolving workload needs. 

Organizations look for new ways to use object storage and Kubernetes together. In an increasingly cloud-native world, modern applications will increasingly be deployed in capacity-intensive workloads. Object storage provides the scalable infrastructure to support these large workloads. Organizations will look for new tools and approaches that make it easier to use object storage and Kubernetes together for massive cloud-native workloads. 

Kubernetes will migrate to on-prem as the next wave of virtualization gives way. Kubernetes will see rising on-prem adoption, with VMware leading the trend. During the next year, VMware will introduce more products and partnerships that will further drive Kubernetes on-premises and make the technology available to a whole new mainstream audience. Until recently, the major public cloud providers dominated the conversation around Kubernetes, arguing that almost everything, especially Kubernetes deployments, should be located in the public cloud. However, more and more enterprises have begun to realize that Kubernetes-based workloads (and many workloads in general) are actually a better fit on-prem, depending on their specific business needs.

Flash vendors will try to improve scalability but will struggle to re-architect their platforms in the process. Organizations will increasingly use flash storage to support performance-intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics. However, these organizations will struggle mightily to re-architect their platforms as they try to scale up their flash storage platforms to accommodate the growing data volumes associated with these workloads.

Object storage shatters the myth that it's only used for archive. Although object storage is best known as a backup and archive storage solution, three trends will expand that perception in 2021. First, flash-based object storage will gain favor in data analytics workloads that also have high-capacity requirements. Second, S3-compatible storage will simplify Kubernetes deployments, making it a logical choice for modern applications. Third, cloud-native applications will be increasingly be deployed on prem, driving the need for on-prem S3-compatible storage to enhance application portability. As a result, more organizations will use object storage to support compute-heavy use cases, such as AI, ML and data analytics, shattering the "cheap and deep" myth once and for all.


In 2021, IT teams will confront greater data demands. A modern storage infrastructure is critical to meeting these demands, one that supports hybrid cloud models, protects against cyber attacks, facilitates new cloud-native applications and ensures access to massive data volumes whenever and wherever needed.


About the Author

Jon Toor 

Jon Toor leads Cloudian's inbound and outbound marketing teams. Prior to Cloudian, Toor served as vice president of digital marketing and demand generation at Brocade. He also served as the vice president of marketing at Xsigo Systems where he led the outbound marketing team, a group he led from company launch until the company acquisition by Oracle. Prior to Xsigo, he served at ONStor as vice president of marketing. Toor holds an MBA, bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, and a bachelor of arts in economics all from Stanford University.

Published Wednesday, December 30, 2020 7:53 AM by David Marshall
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