All storage used to be on-premises. But in the last 10 years, the picture has shifted markedly.
Now the cloud is the home of the bulk of newly stored data. As time goes on, less and less storage is going to be retained outside of the cloud.
See below for some of the top trends in growing cloud storage market:
1. Spiraling storage costs
Businesses are suffering from spiking cloud storage costs, which don’t need to be as expensive as currently priced, according to Kiran Bhageshpur, CTO, Qumulo.
He stated that most organizations that have massive cloud budgets are accounting for hidden costs that can be easily remediated, like unanticipated usage, too much production headroom, and wrong-sizing production.
Although nailing down these pain points can be tricky, they’re not necessarily challenging to resolve.
“Simply analyze your cloud bill and work with your vendor to ensure you’re not overpaying for storage you’re not utilizing,” Bhageshpur said.
“It’s also critical to choose vendors with transparent pricing options that are flexible to your specific and unique needs within the cloud.”
2. The rise of high-performance object storage
From the rise of smart cities to the growing threat of cyber attacks, there are always new considerations for the cloud market and greater urgency for companies to make cloud services a central tenet of their digital strategy.
Over the past two years, for example, COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation initiatives and the adoption of cloud services.
“Increasingly, we see cloud-based applications and infrastructure being adopted to support deployment of emerging use cases for IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning technologies,” said Andrew Smith, senior manager of strategy and market intelligence, Wasabi Technologies.
“Growing demand for these types of use cases is driving cloud infrastructure providers to deliver increasingly performant, accessible, and secure services.”
Cloud object storage, Smith added, has an important role to play in supporting these changing workload dynamics. Traditionally, cloud object storage has been used for high-volume, lower-performance workloads, like backup and archive.
But this is slowly changing as organizations familiar with the usage and effectiveness of object storage and its metadata-based structure look to apply it to a growing range of use cases requiring high throughput and IOPS.
A recent IDC survey showed that 80% of respondents believe object storage can support their top IT initiatives, including IoT, reporting, and analytics.
“This confidence in application of object storage to a growing range of performance-intensive and production use cases is enabled by technology improvements, like high-performance metadata engines, and higher volumes of underlying flash and NVMe-based storage media, which combined, deliver the power and speed needed for high-performance use cases and applications,” Smith said.
3. Repatriation of cloud workloads
The move to cloud storage has been one of the biggest disruptive trends in IT.
The CapEx and operational cost benefits were so compelling that CIOs shifted company data significantly to the cloud. Much of the move of data to the cloud was funded by a reduction in CIOs’ on-premises data center management costs.
The thought was that everything would move to the cloud over time, and on-premises technical resources would never be needed again. However, it is now well understood that the costs of storing and moving data in the cloud are not always the most economical approach.
“As a result, CIOs have been forced to repatriate some of their on-premises solutions for workloads that cause excessive cloud costs,” said Derek Dicker, CEO, Nyriad.
“The realization that not all storage is going to the cloud and the lack of on-premises storage management resources has given rise to hybrid storage-as-a-service (hybrid STaaS).”
Increasingly, Dicker added, CIOs need a hybrid approach to ensure data is stored most efficiently. Further, storage repatriated to on-premises locations must be easy to consume and manage. To the users, therefore, the lines between consuming storage in the cloud and consuming it locally will be blurred.
“It’s not all coming back, and it is not all going to the cloud,” Dicker said. “Hybrid is here to stay.”
4. The cloud to run anything, anywhere
Some workloads might come back on-premises. But that doesn’t mean cloud usage will diminish.
In fact, cloud is expected to expand and to take on an even broader range of use cases.
“What organizations need from the cloud has evolved beyond just isolated storage and compute projects,” said Floyd Christofferson, VP of product marketing, Hammerspace.
“Initially, cloud was used for burst compute or capacity or for long-term data retention. As applications in the cloud have evolved, the need to run anything, anywhere has become a requirement of data-driven business’ IT architectures.”
5. Bridge building
To realize this concept of the anywhere, anything cloud, a trend is emerging.
The trend is focused on solutions that seamlessly bridge on-premises and cloud into a flexible global resource pool.
“This elasticity is essential to enabling increasingly decentralized workflows,” said Christofferson with Hammerspace.