Future of storage lies in the hybrid cloud

Claude Schuck, Regional Manager – Middle East, Veeam shares his opinion about digital transformation, IT modernization and data growth are challenges that IT managers face every day. He further explains that a sophisticated IT strategy based on modern storage technology can help to solve many problems, but what can be expected from storage solutions in the future?

Claude Schuck, Regional Manager, Middle East at Veeam

Before dealing with the trends in the area of storage, it is important to clearly understand the current IT requirements in companies and how data is used. Business data and applications are becoming increasingly important, as their constant availability and uninterrupted use are fundamental to business continuity and success. However, the reality is that organizations still have work to do in this area. According to the Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report, the vast majority (95%) of global organizations suffer unexpected outages each year – problems that last for hours and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars: an hour of downtime from a High Priority application is estimated to cost $67,651, while this number is $61,642 for a Normal application. These costs also clearly prove that “all data matters” and that downtime is intolerable and has a huge impact on today’s digitally-driven business world.

For storage and data management, this means that the exponentially growing data volumes not only have to be constantly maintained, stored and restored as quickly as possible in the event of downtime, but that data losses should be kept to a pre-calculated minimum. Veeam’s research goes on to show that over half (51%) of organizations in the Middle East and Africa region have a “protection gap” between how frequently data is backed-up versus how much data they can afford to lose after an outage. On average, 19% of these regional organizations’ data is not backed up at all, which is higher than the global average of 14% and brings these organization into a vulnerable position not to be able to recover data after any outage which ultimately puts their business operations at risk.

The Drivers
Particularly in the business environment, criteria have developed which have high priority. It is about flexibility, the potential to free up additional capacities in order to focus on the core business and the possibilities to complement existing IT architectures.

These influences have had a decisive impact on the development of hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures, leading storage providers to make corresponding adjustments. Both approaches meet the needs and demands of end-customers for maximum flexibility. From today’s perspective, this trend will continue – this is clearly demonstrated by Hyperscalers, the largest buyers of hard disk drives.

The topic of security also has a significant influence on storage technology. The question is no longer whether one is affected by ransomware, but rather when it happens. This requires an approach that allows an immediate response. This is the origin of the Immutable Object Storage, which prevents data from being accessed or modified. Such solutions will certainly establish themselves as standard.

The rapid data growth must be addressed with an adequate strategy and comprehensive data management. The trend towards ever faster and larger systems will be unstoppable, as they create the prerequisites for keeping data available at all times.

And finally, external conditions such as data protection and compliance requirements also play a major role as companies rethink their IT strategies and consider the implementation of new technologies.

The Potentials
Simplicity, ease of use and cost transparency are currently the most important forces for change in the IT landscape. This is confirmed in the storage area, where the well-known storage silos are slowly disappearing, and synergies are creating new capacities. According to a recent report from Coherent Market Insights, the GCC and Levant’s data storage market is set to reach a record-high of $8.5 billion by 2027, nearly tripling from $2.9 billion in 2019.

Here, software-defined and agnostic solutions are promising and positively anticipated, as the dependencies between end customers and a hardware provider are receding into the background. The already established Software, Platform and Infrastructure-as-a-Service models will continue to be used more and more effectively.

In the end, innovations relating to the cloud will provide further impetus that will define and change the use of classic storage systems in the future.

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