The Current State of Data Storage

The storage market is driven by the increasing demands placed upon data centers. Skyrocketing capacity requirements are fueled by the innovation of connected devices that produce tons of information, such as the internet of things (IoT). Compliance regulations require that data be stored for longer periods while remaining accessible for audits and eDiscovery. Social media produces mountains of comments and responses that companies can use to understand their customers.

In 2017, cloud and flash storage are dominating the industry because of their ability to meet capacity challenges while avoiding sprawling and siloed infrastructures. Healthy competition in the market has made both storage technologies more affordable while encouraging the development of new ways to expand capacity.

2017: A Year for Cloud

Most companies are embracing cloud now that they have overcome their initial reservations. MarketsandMarkets predicted that the cloud storage market will reach $74.94 billion by 2021, citing hybrid cloud adoption as a main driver for the market. This forecast is consistent with the findings in RightScale's 2017 State of the Cloud Report. RightScale found that 95% of respondents are using the cloud in 2017, and 67% have chosen the hybrid cloud model.

Organizations have gained confidence in cloud security to the point where they are turning to cloud for backup and disaster recovery. Public cloud infrastructure provides the perfect off-site storage for backup and recovery during an outage or attack that disables the primary data center.

Making the Cloud More Affordable

Competition in the increasingly crowded cloud market is leading to new pricing models that benefit companies. Traditionally, cloud providers have billed per hour. However, some providers are offering the option of billing per minute or per second for a more granular approach that could save their clients money. Another new approach to pricing is to allow clients to purchase capacity ahead of time at a reduced price.

Rethinking the Cost of Flash Storage

Cost used to be a barrier to flash storage adoption. Flash storage capacity does cost significantly more per gigabyte than hard disk storage. However, flash storage offers higher performance levels. Faster processing speeds make flash storage cost less per gigabyte per second.

Flash storage already reduces the data center footprint by providing greater capacity in a small package. Built-in data management tools allow flash storage to accommodate even more data in less space. Deduplication and compression cut down on redundancy so the capacity needs of big data can be met more easily and economically. Automatic tiering also ensures that companies don't waste expensive, high-performance storage on archived data.

Changing Attitudes Toward Flash Storage

In the past, hybrid arrays were favored over all-flash arrays because they allow for storage tiering. Today, companies are embracing all-flash arrays. IDC reported a 53.1% rise in all-flash adoption along with a 3.1% fall in hybrid adoption during the second quarter of 2017. It attributed the growing popularity of all-flash to the pursuit of more compact and efficient data centers. Companies are seeing all-flash arrays as a bridge to an overall digital transformation that includes cloud adoption.

The Winds of Change in the Storage Market

Both the cloud and flash are technologies that have met some resistance. Myths about lack of security and high cost initially slowed the pace of adoption. However, in 2017 attitudes are changing. Flash and the cloud present solutions to many of the problems facing today's data centers. These storage technologies empower companies to keep up with the pace of data growth and meet the performance challenges of real-time, advanced analytics.

With the right storage provider, your business can benefit from current trends in data center storage. InfoSystems has spent the last 2 decades helping companies keep pace with the latest developments in technology. We will work one-on-one with you to help you reach your data storage goals.

Learn more about today's storage options. Get your copy of our white paper, How to Safely Secure and Store Your Data.