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Hammerspace 2024 Predictions: Unstructured Data Sets Prove to be Missing Link to Successful AI Data Pipelines


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual series exclusive.

Unstructured Data Sets Prove to be Missing Link to Successful AI Data Pipelines

By Molly Presley, CMO, Hammerspace

Data storage technologies that create data silos will see a massive loss of momentum in 2024. One of the biggest challenges facing organizations is putting distributed unstructured data sets to work in their AI strategies while simultaneously delivering the performance and scale not found in traditional enterprise solutions. It is critical that a data pipeline is designed to use all available compute power and can make data available to cloud models such as those found in Databricks and Snowflake. In 2024, high-performance local read/write access to data that is orchestrated globally in real time, in a global data environment will become indispensable and ubiquitous. Here's what to expect in 2024 to support these trends. 

Data Orchestration Takes Center Stage

Organizations will start moving away from "store and copy" to a world of data orchestration. Driven by AI advancements, robust tools now exist to analyze data and tease out actionable insights. However, file storage infrastructure has not kept pace with these advancements. Unlike solutions that try to manage storage silos and distributed environments by moving file copies from one place to another, data orchestration helps organizations integrate data into a single namespace from different silos and locations and automates the placement of data when and where it's most valuable, making it easier to analyze and derive insights. IT organizations need the flexibility to use all of their data - structured, semi-structured and unstructured - for iteration and may need to move different data sets to different models. The data orchestration model allows organizations to realize the benefits of eliminating copying data to new files and repositories - including reducing the time to inference from weeks to hours for large data environments.

Data Teams Embrace the Value of Metadata to Automate Data Management

In 2024, data teams will increasingly use rich, actionable metadata to derive value from data. With the continued growth and business value of unstructured data across all industries, IT organizations must cope with increasing operational complexity when they manage digital assets that span multiple storage types, locations, and clouds. Wrangling data services across silos in a hybrid environment can be an extremely manual and risk-prone process, made more difficult by incompatibilities between different storage types. Metadata has the power to enable customers to solve these problems. Machine-generated metadata and data orchestration are crucial to data insights. 

The "Law" of Data Gravity will Be Overcome, Superpowering Hybrid Cloud Workflows

Keeping data in motion through data orchestration will allow organizations to reap more value from their data than ever before. Although many platforms can handle orchestrating structured data to data analytics applications and data scientists, and a few others are reasonably proficient at orchestrating semi-structured data, until now unstructured data orchestration has been considered too difficult due to the previously held notions of data gravity. Now that the "law" of data gravity has been overcome through data orchestration systems, an entirely new universe of data-driven insights is available, and the technology industry will benefit from a new set of highly beneficial laws around data.

We Finally Overcome the Data Silo Problem

In 2024, organizations will increasingly adopt parallel global file systems to truly realize digital transformation. File systems are traditionally buried into a proprietary storage layer, which typically locks them and an organization's data into a storage vendor platform. Moving the data from one vendor's storage type to another, or to a different location or cloud, involves creating a new copy of both the file system metadata and the actual file essence. This proliferation of file copies and the complexity needed to initiate copy management across silos interrupts user access and is a key problem that inhibits IT modernization and consolidation. The traditional paradigm of the file system trapped in vendor storage platforms is inconvenient within silos of a single data center. But the increasing migration to the cloud has dramatically compounded the problem since it is typically difficult for enterprises with large volumes of unstructured data to move all of their files entirely to the cloud. Unlike solutions that try to manage storage silos and distributed environments by shuffling file copies from one place to another, a high-performance parallel global file system that can span all storage types, from any vendor, and across one or more locations and clouds is more effective.           

Data Scientists Become More Efficient as We Move Beyond ETL    

Organizations are moving to a unified global data environment, which includes all desktop, data center, and cloud data. Data scientists in these companies will no longer require complex ETL processes to ensure data quality, consistency, and compatibility across different systems and formats. The elimination of ETL would require robust systems to ensure these aspects are still adequately addressed. Without the need for ETL, data scientists will be able to allocate more time and resources to analysis and modeling, rather than data preparation, and data pipelines will be less error-prone with the elimination of many intricate steps needed to extract, clean, and load data. 



Molly Presley 

Molly Presley is CMO of Hammerspace. She brings more than years of product and growth marketing leadership experience to the Hammerspace team. Molly has led the marketing organization and strategy at fast-growth innovators such as Pantheon Platform, Qumulo, Quantum Corporation, DataDirect Networks (DDN), and Spectra Logic.  

Published Thursday, December 28, 2023 7:04 AM by David Marshall
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