According to a recent study by Cisco, in 2020, per-user cloud storage traffic will be 1.7 GB per month compared to 512 MB per month in 2015. 59 percent of Internet users will consume storage in the cloud. Cloud versus 47% in 2015.
To meet these growing demands, market technologies are changing, in particular, to reduce the cost of this storage but also to facilitate administration and management.
In this article, we unveil the 2017 storage trends.
- The death of the mechanical disk
It is no longer a surprise to see the death of mechanical records. Today Flash storage is replacing traditional disk technologies for all users. This revolution is due to several factors.
The decline in Flash storage costs: Today the price at the IO is lower on the Flash and from the beginning of 2017, the price per gigabyte on Flash storage will be lower than that on disk storage and this, without even taking into account the optimization mechanisms. Moreover, the advantages are numerous in terms of performance, density, energy consumption, reliability. But even more than the traditional Flash that still uses paradigms inherited from mechanical disks, the future is in persistent memory storage technologies or NAND-type NVMs, and in new protocols.
By using protocols developed specifically to take advantage of the performance and specificities of these new NVMe over Fabric technologies, storage access times are equivalent to what is encountered on local bus internal PCIe type servers.
- The end of traditional storage administrators
Indeed, with the advent of APIs and SDS (Software Defined Storage), the role of storage administrators as we know it today is set to disappear. Storage is no longer an opaque brick of the infrastructure seen as a mere sink of data that only the array administrator masters.
Some features of storage arrays are no longer available on the command line or in GUI but only accessible by API. Storage solutions are now driven by API and integrate seamlessly into Docker or OpenStack infrastructures.
The role of the storage administrator changes. He has to deal with development teams and offer them control of access to storage through APIs. It provides secure storage resource pools and is responsible for meeting SLAs in terms of availability, performance, and capacity. The advent of APIs also reflects another shift, moving intelligence from hardware storage solutions to software.
- The advent of Software Defined Storage (SDS)
The intelligence of storage solutions is no longer in the hardware architecture but in the features offered. Hardware is no longer a differentiator between different manufacturers and moreover, the hardware manufacturing of storage arrays is mostly outsourced to a small number of players, as is the manufacture of electronic components.
The added value of storage solutions is in the software intelligence of the operating system and in the functionality offered by the APIs. The manufacturers of storage solutions become de facto software editors and they no longer hesitate to offer software solutions agnostic hardware, or even ‘Cloud’ solutions.
Operating systems for storage arrays that previously ran on proprietary hardware are now available as a pure software package that customers can install on ‘unmarked’ hardware. There are even virtual storage arrays on Amazon or Azure’s Market Place. These software solutions or ‘Cloud’ offer the same functionalities as the hardware.
As a result, they can interface with each other to implement a fully hybrid architecture of proprietary arrays, SDS arrays on standard hardware, and instances of virtual arrays in the cloud. For example, it is possible to replicate between physical arrays in a private datacenter and instances of software bays hosted at Amazon.