2018 Storage and Data Management Predictions

Cross-Platform Storage Automation Will Be the Key in 2018

At the end of every year the storage industry makes predictions about upcoming trends they expect in the new year, usually citing the exponential growth of unstructured data as a driver for innovative new storage types and/or point solutions that offer enhanced capabilities, cheaper price points, and increasing platform choices to accommodate the ever-expanding use cases for all types of digital assets.

The issue is that even with years of advancements in storage technologies, management of storage infrastructures has only gotten more complex, particularly as IT organizations have to do more with static or shrinking operational budgets. The problem becomes worse when primary storage tiers get full, or need to be replaced in a tech refresh. This inevitably adds more load on IT Staff, and disruption for users.

Automation is the key trend to address this sort of problem across all industries today, leveraging machine learning and data-driven intelligence. The storage industry is no exception, and the technology has finally gotten to the point to bring cross-platform storage and data automation to this industry as well, driven by new metadata-driven software solutions.

The most pressing need for the storage industry is simplicity and automation. That is, to simplify and automate data management across heterogeneous storage types, while also improving ROI of the entire storage infrastructure. And the key to data management is in its metadata, which enable the following trends.

1. Cross-Platform Storage Automation

Metadata-derived intelligence combined with advanced software will provide end-users complete control over their data regardless of the storage, providing independence from vendor limitations, proprietary applications, or problems managing multiple protocols. Metadata-driven automation enables seamless data flows across any storage type, and dramatically reduces the overhead for IT staff.

  • This eliminates data silos with a true global namespace that bridges heterogeneous storage types, blurring the lines between performance and cost, on premises and off premises, public cloud, and much more in to a cross-platform managed fabric.

2. Auto-Data Classification

Aggregating all information about the data from multiple metadata sources into an actionable framework that drives storage automation. Auto-data classification provides the intelligence to:

  • Enforce data migration and protection policies across any storage platform with real-time responsiveness.
  • Enable continuous data protection, data copy management, and the ability to meet compliance requirements such as the EU’s GDPR data privacy regulations.

3. Real-Time Data Lifecycle Management

Global storage management with the intelligence derived from aggregated metadata sources finally enables the promise of cross-platform Data Lifecycle Management.

  • With the combination of automation and intelligence about the data, IT administrations can apply global data policies across all storage types instantly. Use cases evolve dynamically over time, so metadata-driven automation simplifies management and protection data from creation through to archive across the multiple use cases and storage types that may be required over time.

By Floyd Christofferson,
SVP Products – StrongBox Data Solutions.