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What is the Future of Data Storage?

How is data storage changing? What are the new and emerging data storage technologies and how can they benefit your organization?
  • April 24, 2019

It comes as no surprise that there is exponential data growth occurring year after year. In fact, research shows that the amount of data stored in the world's computer systems is doubling every two years, and this pattern of growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

With all this data, the question becomes: Where does it get stored? With that, customers want faster solutions, increased capacity, new functionalities and lower costs. There are several new and emerging technologies in the world of data storage that address these needs, but you have to decide if they address yours.

Common Current Types of Data Storage

In the past, network storage meant physical storage, like a backup hosted on a server. Hopefully, there were recovery copies that worked when the inevitable server crash happened. In the present, there are many different types of storage solutions commonly used by both individuals and organizations to handle data, such as traditional storage devices like hard drives or more advanced appliances like network attached storage. There are also virtual storage options that don’t require hardware, such as cloud storage or a storage configuration on a software-defined infrastructure.

However you store your data or files, it is wise to create and keep at least three copies on hand – one primary “hot” copy and two “cold” copies, one of which should be stored outside your network.

Emerging Data Storage Technologies
What is Storage Virtualization?

Storage virtualization refers to the storage capacity that is accumulated from multiple physical devices and then made available for reallocation in a virtualized environment. It is the pooling of physical storage from multiple devices into what appears to be a single storage device managed from a central console. Relying on software to identify available storage capacity, the technology then aggregates that capacity as a pool of storage that can be used in a virtual environment by virtual machines.

To users, virtual storage appears like a standard read or write to a physical drive. It hides the complexity of the storage system, which allows users and administrators to perform tasks such as backup, archiving and recovery in an easier, less time-consuming manner. Storage virtualization can also help you increase storage capacity without the need to buy new storage devices.

What is Hyperconverged Storage?

Hyperconverged storage (HCS) is the next step up from storage virtualization. HCS utilizes the cloud to combine the functions of computing, virtualization and storage as a physical unit that can be managed as a single system. This is a type of software-defined storage because each node has a software layer running virtualization software identical to all other nodes in the cluster. This software virtualizes the resources in the individual node and shares them with the other nodes, allowing storage and other resources to be used as a single storage or compute pool. This virtualization aspect is an advantage of hyperconverged storage because it makes it possible to use commercial off-the-shelf hardware to make up the individual nodes. This means a hyperconverged device can be cheaper to build if you do it yourself or result in a less expensive monthly or annual cost if you use a vendor.

The combining of the storage functions into a single entity makes the transfer of data fast and efficient. In the past, to transfer data stored on one device to another, you would need to download data from one point to another and then bring the endpoint device online. With virtual disk storage techniques like SV and HCS, you can specify the logical unit number of the drive and specify that data should now to go a new drive.

The future of data storage seems to be heading away from traditional tiered units in favor of combined services that give organizations more control over their data and eliminate the need for a large IT staff, as many functions can be handled remotely. Cloud storage that is accessible from different devices for users is another growing segment that shows promise to become even faster and more efficient. Flash storage and flash storage chips within SSD drives are being developed with denser as a storage option you can rely on. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also becoming more prevalent in newer types of data storage to handle repetitious tasks, such as managing backup schedules and setting custom recovery points for specific data sets. If you want to make sure that your data storage is future-proof, make a note of the type of storage your organization currently uses and what areas you would need to scale. Then talk to our team of experts about the best options for data storage that can expand and evolve to meet your needs.

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