As 2024 unfolds, Dennis Hahn, principal analyst at Omdia specializing in cloud storage and data management, looks at four key storage trends poised to shape the data center industry this year.
These trends include primary storage with built-in ransomware protection, on-premise storage-as-a-service, sustainable data center storage solutions, and storage systems using quad-level cell-based solid-state drives.
Check out the video below to discover the latest data center storage trends for 2024:
This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Dennis Hahn: As we head through into 2024. I want to discuss Omdia’s trends to watch for storage. We chose these trends not based on them being emerging trends, as there are dozens of those, but trends we thought would strongly influence data centers in the next year.
Built-In Ransomware Protection
The first trend to discuss is primary storage with built-in ransomware protection. Embedding ransomware recoveries into storage and storage arrays is a capability that has come about quickly within data centers. It allows you to bring back the data that ransomware has corrupted or destroyed from an attack. Another important capability storage arrays are starting to adopt is being able to watch the data being stored, detect an attack going on, and shut down the environment early, before the attack can do much damage. So, as you consider data protection capabilities for 2024, you might consider how primary storage can be layered along with your backups within your data centers to protect your storage against ransomware attacks.
The second trend I want to discuss is on-premise storage-as-a-service. On-premise storage has been an ongoing major shift within data centers, particularly in the way it is paid for and managed. It basically delivers two things: It delivers a pay-as-you-go or pay-for-what-you-use approach to buying your storage, and it moves it from a capital expense to an operating expense. The other thing that on-premise storage-as-a-service does is it allows vendors to manage your infrastructure for you based on a spectrum of capabilities. So, the bottom line is that on-premise storage-as-a-service starts to provide the same business proposition on-premise that you can find in the public cloud. So, when you go to purchase your storage in 2024, you might consider where you want to then run your application or workload – either on-premise or in the cloud, based on these new business proposition capabilities.
Sustainable Data Center Storage Solutions
The third trend I want to discuss is sustainability and green data center solutions. Data operators are continuously trying to improve data center sustainability, and it appears that storage is now being recognized as an area that needs improvement. We recently conducted a survey with respondents from northern and northwestern Europe, and they mentioned data center storage in their desire to improve their sustainability. This is something that’s still in its early stages, but the industry is starting to identify tools that can be used to measure the size of the problem. Another emerging trend is managing data waste within your data state environment. A lot of the data that goes into a data center is unused data. This data could potentially be removed or dealt with in different ways to have less of an impact on the data center from a sustainability standpoint.
Quad-Level Cell (QLC) Storage
The fourth very important trend is that storage systems within data centers are going to start using quad-level cell (QLC)-based Solid State Drives (SSDs). This is driven by the need to process the massive amounts of data to create training data sets for AI. Operators are looking for better ways to classify, clean, and extract the features from the stored data so that it can be put into data sets. QLC plays really well into that, as it creates higher-performing data pipelines that can be interacted with to process this type of data quickly and easily. So, I would suggest that data center operators get familiar with the new technologies in this space like QLC SSD, high-performance file systems, which dovetail into QLC usage, and even in storage data processing techniques to possibly help classify your data. The management of this data pipeline to create these datasets within storage is going to be a major trend in 2024.
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