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David Feller, VP of product management and solutions engineering at Spectra Logic shares his insights on trends and predictions for 2023, providing a forecast on cloud, tape, hybrid workflows, data protection, universal connectivity, and more…
Expected increase of on-premises data lakes and hybrid workflows
Bandwidth restrictions, data access and data storage cost concerns mean that very large and active data lakes will remain on-premises for sectors that generate and store massive volumes of data, such as genomics, life sciences, university institutes, and government research. Whereas, for other environments, such as in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, hybrid cloud workflows remain the key approach. The M&E sector leads the way here, in part due to its distributed workflows and the huge public cloud investment made by AWS to support this market. As data backup is rapidly transitioning to cloud interfaces (S3) and leveraging the combination of cloud compute, databases, and long-term storage, on-premises solutions will likewise need to adapt for cloud interoperability.
Ransomware attacks bring the importance of preparation to the fore
While the customary 3-2-1 rule remains crucial for data protection, ransomware has inserted a serious threat into the effort to safeguard data with its ability to encrypt online versions of data. This highlights the importance for IT professionals to keep an air gapped copy of data offsite as well as keep an immutable copy online. The utilisation of object lock and the delivery of triggered snapshots as capabilities in modern solutions will provide significant new layers of protection.
We are at the edge of revolutionising how enterprises govern data
New software solutions capable of delivering self-service data protection that separates the value of specific data from the mundane world of backup, will be vital to achieving intelligent protection of valuable data assets. Another advantage of this split model is that organisations will garner substantial cost and capacity savings through the reduction in the amount of active data to backup while, concurrently, preserving data across any combination of cloud and on-premises storage for long-term usage, analysis and production.
Universal connectivity advancements
Over the coming years, cloud native, edge and hybrid workflows will multiply. Cloud connectivity will continue to expand, and it will be imperative for organisations to consider the concept of universal connectivity, where any user can access data regardless of their location and regardless of where the data is located. The user’s ability to protect, tag and find data effectively will supersede traditional speed, feed and cost discussions as software and cloud platforms evolve to enable greater user interaction with the data. Enterprise customers, however, are still attempting to balance cost, flexibility, accessibility, and security, so it likely will be a few more years before processes are implemented and standardised in those larger ecosystems.
The lasting power of tape storage
The combination of cost, speed, and raw capacity make tape the only real choice for some workflows, including those that require long-term data archiving and cold storage. Perhaps more important than tape’s raw capacity, which still has a lot of growth over the next 10 years, is the move to apply tape as a “glacier layer” to simplify usage. The primary complaint about tape has been managing and finding clients that know how to talk to it efficiently – with a lot of middleware vendors charging way too much. The ability to connect with tape through the industry-standard S3-glacier interface, made popular by AWS, is a game changer. Now any client that understands how to interface with AWS, can natively talk to tape. Customers with existing tape libraries can quickly repurpose them as on-premises glacier repositories that are indistinguishable from the public cloud version, with cost, control and compliance advantages.