Elevated role for Kubernetes and container storage
With the rise of containerization, Kubernetes is taking the lead. While many proprietary storage solutions are used for container storage, open storage is intrinsically better aligned with these environments. In addition to being adaptable, scalable, and harmonizing well with the principles of containerization, open storage is free to use and can also be purchased with Enterprise support. I predict that more organizations will evaluate open storage as part of the larger trend of containers.
Hard drives will still be less expensive than flash in 2024 and beyond
Despite the wishful thinking from flash-only vendors, hard drives in the data center / centre will maintain their significant cost advantage and continue to store the most data. As a provider of both all-flash and hybrid storage, my company believes that hybrid disk/flash storage is still best suited in many circumstances. All-flash and disk-only configurations definitely have their places, though I predict that hybrid storage will continue to remain the most popular choice through 2024 and beyond. It could be another decade until flash storage can be produced in enough volume to rival the cost-effectiveness of hard drives.
Open IT solutions to facilitate AIOps
Specialization in IT infrastructure has given way to generalization, and generalists benefit from technologies that require less effort to properly manage. AIOps is an approach that uses AI/ML-driven intelligence to make recommendations and carry out operations. In storage, no single product-specific AIOps can deliver more than a subset of AIOps users want. What about the rest of the infrastructure including compute and networking? There is a need for more flexible, open IT solutions capable of integrating with a wide range of environments and diverse data types. This trend is still quite early, and I predict that the full value of full-infrastructure AIOps can only be realized with open technologies within broader AIOps frameworks.
Security and recovery auditing becomes an everyday activity
Double-checking that security infrastructure is effective has always been a necessity. But with the rapid evolution of cyber threats in the form of ransomware, malware, and phishing, the trend will be less about the security systems in place and much more about ensuring their proper operation. We predict that regular and continuous inspection and testing across all data infrastructure will be a priority in IT organizations, including snapshot recoverability, robust encryption, tighter admin controls, and immutable storage to keep data safe from threats.
For workload placement, IT wants a data platform, not storage products
The selection of IT infrastructure – whether it be cloud, hybrid-cloud, or on-premises – is largely driven by where the application will operate and serve its users the best. Operating storage across multiple locations is hard enough and it is made more difficult getting different products to work together, even from the same vendor. For decades IT managers have dreamed of a time without the pain of living with incompatibilities and limitations, let alone having freedom to choose from many ways to achieve the same outcome. I predict that data platforms with a single codebase will begin to directly challenge established vendors that maintain multiple storage products in 2024, and that open data platforms will lead the way. User preference is a single platform that can manage all-flash and hybrid storage needs and support file, black, object and container workloads. Backup and replication between systems should be seamless.
Brett Davis is EVP for iXsystems