Trends That Will Drive Data Storage Innovation in 2022


It is no secret that we are living amid an unprecedented surge in enterprise data: by 2025, the volume of data created is expected to reach nearly 180 zettabytes, according to IDC.

Last year, enterprise data in India was estimated to grow at a 45.2% average annual rate—faster than the global annual data growth rate of 42.2%. India’s annual growth rate is 3rd fastest among the surveyed countries worldwide, trailing only the USA (50.5%) and Australia (46.9%).

Enterprises are increasingly relying on data storage innovation to put business data to use. With data being generated at overwhelming volumes, enterprises seek to overcome mass-capacity challenges in the multicloud environment by ensuring that data is accessible, that bandwidth and securities are enhanced, and that composable disaggregated architectures support seamless data movement. As a result, this year and beyond the following five major data innovation trends have been identified:

Distributed storage networks: The emergence of decentralized consensus protocols and distributed ledger technologies enables new ways of storing data in decentralized storage networks. These storage networks will become the foundation of the next generation world-wide-web known as Web 3.0. The amount of capacity within the decentralized storage (DeStor) networks keeps growing, with hundreds of petabytes being onboarded.

A broader adoption of object storage by enterprises: With the explosion of useful data, object store is becoming the standard for mass capacity because it offers advantages over traditional file stores including prescriptive metadata, scalability, and no hierarchical data structure. Storage systems benefit from greater intelligence incorporated in data sets and object stores provide this intelligence. Object storage’s forte is a new application development in combination with block storage to provide scale and performance in a symbiotic fashion. Many legacy file applications are also migrating to object storage infrastructure to take advantage of the economies of scale that object storage enables.

Cloud native software and app development is driving dynamically provisioned storage: The interoperability of the container deployment model promotes agility and flexibility for businesses, and, over time, facilitates the shift to multi-cloud. Moving from manual to orchestrated storage provisioning enables better utilization of storage hardware while managing quality of service through storage class abstractions. The Container Storage Interface creates an extensible management plane for consumption of persistent volumes using a declarative method of control over standard and vendor unique storage features.

Transitioning to post-quantum cryptography. The large investments in quantum computing technologies will likely result in computers powerful enough to weaken the security of classical cryptography. Current estimates are that this will happen sometime between 2026 and 2031. A new class of cryptographic algorithms, known as post-quantum cryptography (PQC) is being developed and standardized to mitigate the potential threat of quantum computers. We expect the new PQC standards to be ready by 2024.

Fabrics will continue to be an important technology enabling disaggregated infrastructure. The interface unification and architecture simplification result in efficiencies and economy of scale. An example of recent innovation is the emergence of NVMe (nonvolatile memory express) hard drives (demonstrated at OCP in November). CXL will allow for creation of fabrics of compute & memory.

These trends drive home the need for enterprises to deploy more intelligent and flexible storage architectures, with the least human intervention—not only to maintain business resilience, but also become the driving force for business growth and innovation breakthroughs. 20TB high-capacity drives are ramping, along with innovative data storage systems, to ensure large amounts of data move efficiently between the endpoints, edge, and cloud. Ultimately, the innovations pave the way for enterprises to uphold user data sovereignty while making the most out of business data.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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