Historically, computer storage hasn’t always been top-of-mind in the world of IT. But the success of your business, whether a company of five or the Global Fortune 500, lies within your storage strategy. Really. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t want to build your new office or factory on a weak foundation, would you? The foundation must be secure, rock solid, and consist of the most reliable components. The same goes for your storage. Storage is the critical foundation for your cloud and data center environments. In short, the foundation of your business.

Businesses across the globe continue to see an exponential increase in the vast amounts of data they produce[1]. That trend is only going up.

In 2019, how you use, maximize, and optimize your oceans of data will continue to play a pivotal role in your business. With that in mind, let’s dive into a few storage technology trends that can drive the value of your data in 2019.

5 Storage trends to keep an eye on in 2019

1. Adopting all-flash and NVMe

The use of all-flash storage systems is unabated in its growth and will likely see rapid growth again in 2019[2]. All primary storage workloads should sit on flash. Why is that? Because as the price of flash has declined and the value of performance for workloads such as analytics and AI has increased, it no longer makes sense not to do so. With these new workloads on flash delivering new business value, and with new cloud-like on-premises deployment models, you can transform CAPEX and OPEX for your entire cloud and data center storage infrastructure.

NVMe will also expand within the storage industry as a high-performance protocol: in storage systems, servers, and storage area network fabrics2. Protocol improvements with NVMe drive consolidation by helping support more applications, workloads, and use cases across your IT infrastructure.

2. “Cloudifying” storage

This does not simply mean the use of storage by a cloud service provider (CSP) or a managed service provider (MSP), but also the capability of storage to transparently move data from on-premises configurations to public clouds and across private cloud deployments. This allows you to enjoy the application and workload SLAs of a private cloud and also enjoy the savings public clouds drive for backup and archival data.

When it comes down to it, the “cloudification” of storage is all about getting the right storage for the right job, no matter how you’re deploying your cloud environment. This trend continues to be top-of-mind for multicloud and hybrid cloud architectures.

3. Embracing modern data protection

Most of us are aware of data protection as the ability to backup and restore. Modern data protection goes way beyond that. Modern data protection is focused on how you can leverage secondary storage datasets (backups, snapshots, and replicas) to be used to empower your business.

With modern data protection, copies are no longer a liability but become a benefit: you can take secondary datasets and use them for DevOps, analytics and testing workloads.

4. Automating storage processes

As businesses navigate their digital transformation journey, there will be a need for automation across the board. This applies not only to storage professionals, but to DevOps and other job functions: Docker experts, application owners, server and virtual machine administrators, and so on. All need to know how to backup and optimize workloads.

For instance, they may need to spin up a new container without calling the IT department. With that said, it’s imperative to have integration with all the coming APIs, automation and self-service—each of which are critical. This will help enable you to create a true digital business.

5. Incorporating artificial intelligence

AI is expected to have an impact on countless industries. From car manufacturing, to food services, to healthcare and more. This is a transformational change relative to the invention of electricity. AI could potentially simplify operations, expedite processes and production. Manual complex tasks will be easier to maintain with what we continue to learn from AI. Storage for AI will potentially play a central role in how organizations use this technology. To enjoy the benefits of AI, your storage must have the ultimate in performance, availability and reliability. AI, at its core, requires massive amounts of data being processed accurately and reliability 365X24.  Storage is essential to the AI paradigm.

To recap

When it comes to storage technology and the data it houses—it is the critical foundation of all businesses and impacts business units across the board. Your data needs to be available, accurate, reusable, protected and performant in today’s data-driven enterprise. If it isn’t, you risk not being able maximize use of data–your most valuable corporate asset.

The future is bright for the storage industry. The power of your storage drives the success of your business.

Learn more

To learn more about the latest and greatest trends within the IT world, join me at IBM’s annual conference, Think, Feb 12-15 2019 in San Francisco. There, you can explore IBM storage solutions that are redefining industries, learn from storage experts, and get your biggest questions answered. From high-level strategy discussions to targeted technical training, Think will cover the breadth and depth of technology.

I will be at Think, so come by one of my sessions and let’s talk storage:

For a complete agenda and curriculum, visit the Think events page and don’t forget to register! See you in San Francisco in February so you can deliver the best for your business in today’s data-driven hybrid multicloud world.

[1] IBM Institute for Business Value: Your cognitive future, January 2016 GBE03641-USEN-02

[2] IDC Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Enterprise Storage Systems, 2018, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US44266218

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