5 Top Cloud Object Storage Trends in 2022

Object storage has emerged as a solution to the sudden emergence of massive amounts of unstructured data over the past decade.

Unstructured data is difficult to organize in traditional databases that prefer a highly structured approach. Social media, email, photos, videos, audio, and more modern data are largely unstructured.

Object-based storage is a smart way to archive, backup, or preserve such data in the cloud or on-premises due to advantages such as scalability and flexibility. Object opened the door to terabyte and even petabyte scale storage.

Here are some of the key trends businesses and IT teams are seeing in the cloud object storage market:

1. Phenomenal growth

A few years ago, object storage took off from scratch.

Businesses now store roughly the same amount of data in the cloud as they do internally — nearly 80PB per year, according to IDC.

“In the next five years, 80% of this data will be unstructured (ie, file and/or object-based) data,” said Eric Burgener, analyst at IDC.

“Growth rates for data in the public cloud, driven by growth in both file and object storage, have been higher than growth rates for on-premises storage.”

In object storage, archiving and content applications are the most important workloads.

Some of the object storage features that users particularly appreciate include integration with accelerated computing platforms, quality of service, integration with many artificial intelligence (AI) tools and software stacks, and support for high-performance storage tiers that leverage flash media.

2. Analysis at scale

From the pull of data gravity to stricter data governance, data proliferation continues to pose challenges for organizations embarking on cloud transformation.

However, the ability to analyze data at scale remains a core priority as companies strive to gain real-time insights and make better use of their data, said Rob Lee, CTO, Pure storage.

As a result, organizations are increasingly adopting hybrid architectures across public and private clouds to take advantage of cloud-based data analytics for critical data assets across their IT landscape.

For example, to improve the ability to harness the power of cloud analytics for on-premises data, Pure Storage brought its FlashBlade object storage to Snowflake’s data cloud platform to give organizations more control and flexibility around their data workloads to offer.

3. Storage Optimization

We are just before entering the zettabyte storage age.

Globally stored data will approach 6ZB in 2022, according to IDC.

Just a ZB would require 55 million 18TB hard disk drives (HDDs) or 55 million of the latest 18TB LTO-9 tape cartridges.

With so much data at play, one of the keys to competitive advantage is getting the right data in the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost. This is where memory optimization comes into play.

“Intelligent data management will be required, using multiple tiers of storage, active archivesand innovative S3-compatible archival solutions for object storage,” said Rich Gadomski, Tape Evangelist, Fujifilm Recording Media USA.

“Nowhere will this be more evident than in long-term digital preservation and high-performance computing environments where expensive object storage simply needs to be offloaded low-cost tape systems with an S3-compatible API.”

4. Facilitating hybrid cloud architectures

With ever-increasing pressure to save money and innovate faster, organizations are desperate for more agility, flexibility, and efficiency in public cloud services.

With unstructured data being the largest, fastest growing, and most difficult dataset for IT to manage, there is a strong desire to move that data to the cloud.

Unfortunately, data cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Copying 1PB of data over a 100Mbps connection under ideal conditions would take three years. Even expanding this connection to 1Gbps would take over four months to complete the migration.

Aside from data access costs, latency, insufficient cloud expertise, and other speed limitations, the migration problem alone makes a full cloud migration for large datasets unsustainable.

“Hybrid cloud storage is an attractive compromise that allows organizations to store their sensitive and frequently used data on-premises for privacy and easy access, while moving their cold, non-proprietary data to the cloud,” he said Tanya Loughlin, Director, Hitachi Content Platform Product Marketing.

“In many cases, customers prefer to invest in an on-premises service rather than on-premises investments to benefit from a pay-per-use model. For example, a customer has data (image, voice, video, audio) and the AI, ML and recognition systems are too expensive and complex to host on-premises.”

These services are available in the cloud and it is much cheaper to process large amounts of data through these services.

Instead of moving all of their data to the cloud, customers can transfer data to the cloud for processing, and once they have the results, cloud data can be purged. Object storage is being used to store more data faster in hybrid cloud environments.

5. Cloud control

Since most data is neither sensitive nor frequently used, many companies have chosen to offload their less valuable data to the cloud at an acceptable pace and at low cost.

They can keep important and new data on-premises for fast writes, low-latency access, and full control over security, compliance, and governance.

But now the question is how to control what goes to the cloud and what stays local. If IT only has to do the directory structure, filenames, last access dates, and the like for its file data, it will struggle to ensure the right data is in the right place at the right time.

This is where on-premises object storage makes hybrid cloud storage a reality. Object Storage brings cloud storage into customer data centers and offers the same features people are looking for in cloud storage: effortless data protection, reliable data availability, massive scalability, easy management, and lower costs than traditional file services.

“The best object storage for a hybrid cloud storage architecture will have built-in or built-in tools like content indexing, metadata extraction, and storage tiering that provide the intelligence needed to automatically manage data across local flash, disk, and removable media tiers, as well as multiple cloud tiers. Services – so IT has complete visibility and control over their data, no matter where it resides,” said Loughlin of Hitachi Vantara.

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