New trends in data storage

The amount of data being stored continues to grow at an ever-expanding pace each year.  How we access our data, and how quickly we need to be able to access it, is changing as well.  Let’s look at some of the new trends in digital storage that we’re seeing as we head into the second half of 2017.

As data continues to grow exponentially, so grows the need for storage

Think of the amount of data that is gathered on your own phone. Now think about how right now there are over a billion mobile phones in use, emitting 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data every month. As more and more devices are connected with the Internet of things, the sheer amount of content will require an unprecedented volume of storage. And that data storage needs to be fast, secure, intuitive, and cost-effective.

2017 will be a year of major transitions

According to Tom Coughlin, a data storage consultant and chairman of the annual Storage Visions and Creative Storage Conferences, “2017 will see the emergence of new solid-state storage solutions and the growth of interfaces that can use the performance that solid-state storage makes possible. 3D flash will grow in market penetration with offerings by multiple companies. Solid-state client and enterprise storage will grow, driving many new system start-ups at the same time that device and interface commoditization and consolidation is underway. One way or the other, 2017 is the year that solid-state storage goes vertical!”

Storage trends

  • Over 99 Exabytes of digital storage will be used for digital archiving and content conversion and preservation by 2018
  • Recent government regulations require businesses to maintain and back up a variety of data they might have otherwise deleted
  • Cloud storage will play an increasing role in enabling collaborative workflows
  • The growing need to store large media files, such as video, and make them available to users on a network, is generating demand for more sophisticated storage solutions

While storing information and managing its storage is a critical component to any company’s success, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s often a combination of several different storage options that works the best. Let’s take a look at a few of the latest.

3D flash memory

Flash data storage is the most common form used in consumer tech, including mobile phones. Flash stores and accesses data directly from a semiconductor. Each year flash prices continue to drop, as the technology gets faster, more capable, and able to store more information in the same amount of space.

As SanDisk says, “In 2017, infrastructure will have to respond as fast as the user, and businesses will rely on speed to make sure revenue is not lost.” Flash memory (and other emerging solid state storage technologies) can provide this speed.

The hybrid cloud

They hybrid cloud allows for the agility to move seamlessly between storage in the cloud and on-site storage or hardware, depending on the security and the need for accessibility. The hybrid model permits businesses to rely on the cost-effective public cloud for non-sensitive operations and on the private cloud for critical, particularly sensitive operations.


Intelligent Software Designed Storage (I-SDS) removes the need for proprietary hardware stacks, and replaces them with storage infrastructure that is managed and automated by intelligent software, rather than hardware. I-SDS has a faster response time and is more cost-effective than storing data on hardware.

The main asset of I-SDS is that it mimics how the human brain stores vast amounts of data with the unique ability to call it up at a moment’s notice, giving I-SDS a huge advantage over older storage models because it improves speed while still achieving high levels of accuracy.

Small biz v enterprise

Andy Walls from IBM says that “While smaller businesses are increasingly moving to SaaS applications and cloud-based storage in pursuit of lower costs and greater agility, most enterprises need to pursue a hybrid strategy, retaining a significant amount of storage capacity on-premises for reasons of performance, security, regulatory compliance, cost and/or the avoidance of cloud service lock-in. Typically an enterprise will keep mission-critical data in-house, using the cloud for lower-priority data, and for coping with episodic capacity requirements that fall outside the normal run of business.”

While the sheer volume of data continues to grow exponentially, it will be interesting to see how businesses large and small will best address their storage needs in the future.