At ClearSky, we strongly believe the future of data storage lies in services built on hybrid cloud and edge computing. And increasingly, it appears that the rest of the world is coming around to our point of view.
Case in point: A recent article at SearchStorage.com asked storage experts — analysts, consultants and industry insiders — about their predictions for storage architecture and big data for 2019. Big data is, of course, a specialized application for storage, but many of these experts’ comments point in a common direction for storage as a whole: 2019 will be a tipping point for storage-as-a-service, and it will soon become the norm.
Summing it up nicely, Steve McDowell, a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said: “The focus on edge computing, which is one of the hottest areas of IT expansion, has largely been on processing and networking. This changes in 2019, as those deploying these edge solutions start to understand the need for managed storage.”
Why will the need for managed edge storage solutions grow so quickly in 2019? First, the number of data-driven applications run at the edge is growing fast, driven in large part by advanced IoT use cases such as autonomous vehicles and smart cities which require rapid response times and create massive amounts of data.
Second, if enterprises are to realize the benefits of the cloud for data storage, they’ll need to take advantage of the edge in order to achieve the performance they require. The big public cloud data centers are typically far away, which introduces an unacceptable level of latency. Data needs to be accessible at the edge.
As StorageIO senior advisory analyst Greg Schulz notes, “For 2019, enterprise data storage focus expands from core cloud and on prem to the edge to support traditional, as well as emerging workloads such as IoT, artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning and other analytics.”
IoT will be a primary driver for data storage on the edge, but as connected machine learning-based systems such as interactive voice response help centers become more ubiquitous, they will need to be run on the edge to reduce lag and increase that sense of immediate, natural language responses. To enable such complex systems to run on the edge will require a seamless flow of data to and from the enterprise user, the edge, and the main cloud storage. Relying on replicated data being pulled from the cloud and restored to active-state data would slow the system down significantly. It also adds unnecessary expense and complexity to any data analytics system sitting on the edge.
Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, puts it this way: “The ability to move cool and cold data seamlessly from high-performance storage to cloud storage to object storage to file storage — and not have to rehydrate it to access it — will become table stakes this year for a lot of storage vendors.”
That seamless movement of data is no simple task. About 7-12 percent of enterprise data is hot, meaning it’s actively being used and needs to be stored close to the application that needs it. But the rest of the data isn’t all quite cold. There’s a grey area of warm data that is infrequently accessed, but still needs to be stored on the edge for fast access, while truly cold data can safely be stored in the cloud. To make all of this work, a storage service will need to intelligently move data back and forth behind the scenes between on-prem, the edge and the cloud. As Staimer goes on to say, “In other words, it won't be hierarchical storage management (HSM) type of tiering in the future. You won't have to bring the data back to read it or change it.”
This is the future of storage, and ClearSky Data is providing it to enterprise customers today. Right now, our customers’ IT organizations are using ClearSky Data to simplify their storage infrastructure with a single service that provides not only primary storage, but also automatic backup and DR, with RPOs and RTOs of near zero.
See how ClearSky can help you reduce storage complexity and save 50 percent on the total cost of storage. Read how Partners Healthcare and Miles & Stockbridge are using ClearSky. Or sign up for a demo today!