The data-driven approach will soon benefit immensely from non-magnetic storage solutions and the hybrid cloud, says this storage technology expert.

According to IDC, by the year 2022, half of the Asia Pacific’s economies will have been digitalized. This means we are now at the inception of one of the biggest migrations in history, as organizations recreate new and existing processes in the digital realm.

Central to this digitalization migration is data. Governments and businesses alike are realizing the importance of a data-driven approach, which prioritizes and transforms data into an agile, seamless resource that is delivered at speed to produce trusted insights.

Behind the scenes of this big migration are three defining trends that have shaped the evolution of storage: simplicity, seamlessness and sustainability. Today, users must deal with increasingly large volumes of data, resulting in the need for an architecture that allows data to be stored and accessed easily over time.

As digital transformation matures, how will organizations manage their data effectively and efficiently to secure a competitive edge in the digital economy?

Several trends will emerge that will define modern data experience. These include the swing to operating expenditure (OPEX) models; the emergence of fast, object storage; the rising adoption of containers in mainstream applications; and greater automation through modern analytics.

Demand for Storage-as-a-Service will increase

X-as-a-Service models may have existed since the beginning of public cloud, but we are seeing rising demand in response to the adoption of hybrid cloud.

For most storage consumers, hybrid cloud is the reality and the future. In a whitepaper by 451 Research, more than 90% of businesses in APAC run on multiple cloud environments with varying degrees of interoperability, of which more than half are already on hybrid cloud. This is because hybrid cloud allows organizations to combine the best of both worlds—enterprise capabilities and control from on-premise infrastructure, together with simplicity and automation in the cloud.

Investments in subscription-based, OPEX models will increase. Organizations will have to balance the operations and purchasing aspects to deliver a non-disruptive, evergreen experience that can scale as needed. This protects investments in the technology architecture for at least 10 years, eliminating the need to change the infrastructure every three to four years, or do arduous data migrations.

Database operations will become more streamlined

Object storage has become the standard for cloud-native applications, due to its ability to support highly parallel and distributed access to large data sets. As applications are developed or re-platformed for cloud-friendly architectures, object storage will become the go-to for enabling applications to decouple, and disaggregating applications and their compute resources from a pool of shared storage.

This will be accompanied by new solid-state technologies such as Storage Class Memory (SCM) and quad-level cells (QLC) coming online, stratifying the memory space. On the high-end, with the combination of SCM and high-speed protocols like NVMe-oF, shared storage arrays can now provide server-storage-like performance to the most latency-sensitive applications.

At the same time, the impending introduction of QLC is bringing flash to tiers of storage that have largely stayed on magnetic disk to date. The emerging demand for QLC technology has seen the development of one of the industry’s first QLC-ready all-flash storage systems. The accompanying cost reduction enables applications to take advantage of the benefits of flash beyond performance: simplicity, reliability, and reduced data-center power and space.

Smart provisioning of container storage to gain momentum

Containers were created to make deploying stateless applications as simple and cost-efficient as possible. In recent years, the soaring popularity of Kubernetes and VMware’s endorsement of containers has contributed to rising container usage towards mainstream applications.

Containerized application environments are fluid and scale rapidly. Organizations with the ability to keep up will see AI operations move from advisory roles to automated actions, allowing operators to take a hands-free approach in decision making.

Organizations that have successfully integrated an OpenShift container storage platform into their application environments include PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN). Not only did the Indonesian bank reduce application development and deployment time from days to just minutes, it also refined its DevOps capabilities to accelerate productivity and innovation improvements.

The era of next-gen analytics is now

With more affordable infrastructure options such as stronger central processing units, consumption-based infrastructure, lower-priced flash memory, as well as open source and commercial stream analytics platforms, modern analytics can now reach a larger scale on cloud-native analytics architectures.

By taking a critical look at the future of storage infrastructure and technologies, organizations can craft a forward-looking digital strategy that delivers a modern data experience—fit for a new, exciting decade in tech innovation.