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Komprise 2022 Predictions: Unstructured Data Management

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

2022 Predictions for Unstructured Data Management

By Krishna Subramanian, President and COO, Komprise

IT and business leaders have weathered the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic with undeniable courage and prowess. But now, it's time to take stock of the progress we've made with successful remote work and the creative digitization of key business processes, products and services.  What's next? We believe that 2022 will provide an easier pathway for organizations to better leverage and monetize their vast stores of unstructured data - from emails, documents, research and application data to video files, images and sensor data. Here are our predictions for unstructured data management as relates to the cloud, storage, analytics and ransomware.

1. Cloud file storage accelerates

First it was cloud native applications, then block workloads, but now it's time for file workloads to move to the cloud. Explosive growth in unstructured file data has led to datacenters bursting at the seams. Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to cloud for file workloads. Yet migrating file data to the cloud is time-consuming and can be disruptive, especially since unstructured data is large and often spans petabytes. Converting files to cloud objects is too disruptive for users and application workflows. Storage and cloud vendors are responding with new cloud file storage offerings such as AWS EFS, FSX, Azure Files, Qumulo CloudQ and NetApp CVO. Data management solutions are also enabling smart file migrations so that hot data is placed in cloud file storage and cold data is transparently and efficiently tiered at the file level to object storage. This means that customers can use data from both the file and object tiers. Another approach many vendors are taking is to provide cloud-like economics and pricing while the infrastructure remains on-premises: HPE Greenlake and Pure as a Service are examples of this trend.

2. IT and business leaders look to monetize unstructured data volumes with AI/ML and data analytics

Unstructured data has grown exponentially in recent years; meanwhile file digitization increased dramatically during the pandemic. These pressures are resulting in a shift: IT organizations will reorganize operations and spending from cost containment and storage efficiency to data value, data access and data management. The opportunity is not just how to best store unstructured data according to its age and usage for hot and cold storage, but how to leverage it for competitive or operational gain. AI and machine learning in the cloud continue to deliver more capabilities for customers and are becoming core enablers of digital transformation. Progressive enterprise IT leaders will determine how to create intelligent strategies for segmenting and extracting file data for distinct use cases and monetization.

3. In a hybrid, multi-cloud world, the battle against silos will end.

For the last two decades, pundits have been talking about the evil of data silos. They are a barrier to visibility, to fluid customer experience, to cost management, to revenues and more. Yet here we are today in 2021, and despite-- or perhaps because of - all our innovation, most companies still have uncontrolled data silos. It's time to stop blaming silos and look for solutions that make the silos immaterial. Decentralized IT is unstoppable with the cloud, SaaS, shadow IT and globalization. Instead of fighting or attempting to break the silos, bridge them. Modern IT management and data management technologies enable visibility, search, monitoring across data wherever it resides, on premises and in the cloud. The mainstreaming of multi-cloud architecture gives credit to the notion that silos are sensible; they give IT a means to put data where it should best reside according to a number of constantly morphing parameters including cost, organizational value, compliance needs, security and more. Silos are a representation of agile innovation: use the best technology (whether that is infrastructure, applications, or tools) for the job.

4. IT will avoid one-size-fits-all ransomware protection

File data and their backups are new targets for ransomware. File data-which may be user documents, video, or research notes, may not be protected as vigilantly as mission-critical operational data such as customer databases or invoice systems. Yet this data still has long-term value and contains sensitive info such as PII or IP that can't be compromised. The flipside is, that as organizations bolster their ransomware defenses by taking on a more thorough approach to detection, recovery and restoration, they may end up spending exorbitant OPEX on a ransomware program. Rightsizing ransomware protection will be a smart tactic. For instance, by identifying and putting rarely accessed cold data in an object-locked storage such as S3 and eliminating it from active storage and backups, you can create a logically isolated recovery copy while drastically cutting storage and backup costs. For these reasons, among others, storage professionals will prioritize analytics tools. Investing in analytics tools was the highest priority (45%) over buying more cloud or on-premises storage or modernizing backups, according to the Komprise 2021 State of Unstructured Data Management Report.

5. Cloud DR will emerge as a top strategy for ransomware protection

Using the cloud as a primary disaster recovery strategy will increase significantly in 2022 as it's far less expensive and resource intensive than creating and staffing another data center. The resilience provided by the cloud is another key benefit. Cloud file storage is preferred over object storage for hot data since it is performant and enables instant recovery for users and applications. But cloud file storage is not only more expensive since you pay by the hour, it also requires backups and DR, so the costs can add up. Also, it does not provide the same resilience as immutable object storage for ransomware protection. Running file data at scale in the cloud and making it affordable with efficient ransomware protection is going to become a greater challenge for enterprise IT organizations and will result in more attention on moving cold or warm data to object storage to increase resilience while balancing the cost. It's a Faustian bargain of flexibility, scale, resilience and low-cost storage for the unpredictable costs of cloud egress fees when you recover those files back to your data center after an outage or other incident or when cold data is accessed more frequently than you'd predicted.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krishna Subramanian 

Krishna Subramanian is co-founder, president and COO of Komprise. Subramanian has a long-standing history of influence in Silicon Valley. She has built three successful venture-backed IT businesses and held senior leadership positions at major tech companies, including Sun Microsystems and Citrix. Subramanian has successfully generated over $500M in new revenues, applying her industry expertise in SaaS, cloud computing and data management. She was named a “2021 Top 100 Women of Influence” by Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Published Wednesday, December 01, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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