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Enterprise Storage Trends in 2023-2024

By Francis Tsang, Senior Cloud Strategist of Sangfor Technologies. Francis has years of practical experience in cloud infrastructure and service.


In the era of digital transformation, businesses are generating data at an unprecedented rate. According to a forecast by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Global DataSphere, which measures annual data creation, capture, and consumption, is projected to more than double in size from 2022 to 2026. Notably, the Enterprise DataSphere is expected to grow over twice as fast as the Consumer DataSphere during this period, indicating a significant increase in business-generated data​​.


In the face of this burgeoning data volume, traditional enterprise storage systems like Storage Area Networks (SAN) or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) will increasingly suffer from challenges such as hardware failure, scalability issues, high costs, and limited disk space.


These issues can be addressed by adopting a modern Software-Defined Distributed Storage solution. This type of storage platform efficiently manages data in various formats, including structured data (data organized into fields, like databases) and unstructured data (data without a specific format, like videos, images, and text files). It enables users to store large volumes of data while offering high scalability. Whether the need is for server storage, application data, or backup, this solution allows for easy data access and provides an optimal return on investment (ROI).


Challenges with Traditional Enterprise Storage Solutions


Many traditional storage systems use a closed or proprietary architecture, making hardware and data management opaque and challenging for IT teams. Often, organizations find themselves purchasing storage solutions from multiple vendors to meet diverse storage needs. This approach requires different skill sets and separate management consoles, complicating the tasks for operation and maintenance teams. Upgrading these traditional storage systems is often cumbersome and costly, as most proprietary hardware components must be swapped out in a "Lift-and-Shift" manner, leading to issues related to cost, operations, and service.


An Evergreen Enterprise Storage Platform


To address these challenges, Sangfor has introduced aStor, a Software-Defined Storage solution. This system helps organizations streamline operations and maintenance by creating a unified, distributed storage resource pool. aStor offers block, file, and object storage concurrently, meeting the data storage needs of various service platforms. It allows seamless upgrades and scaling, ensuring your storage infrastructure can adapt to future technological advancements without requiring wholesale hardware replacements. Moreover, aStor enables unified management of the entire data center storage resources through its cloud storage management platform and intelligent inspection tools.


This future-proof storage solution not only simplifies the complexities of data storage and management but also provides a scalable and cost-effective way to meet the long-term needs of modern enterprises.


Enterprise Storage & Cloud Repatriation


While hyperscale cloud providers continue to promote the benefits of storing all data in the cloud, there is an emerging trend of moving data back to on-premises storage. This trend, known as cloud cloud repatriation, is driven by various factors, including data sovereignty regulations, improved data control, and cost-effectiveness.


Hyperscale cloud providers led many customers to believe that cloud storage was a cost-effective alternative to on-premises solutions. However, it turns out that this is not always the case. Cloud storage costs can add up quickly for organizations not originally built as digital-first enterprises. Therefore, some companies are bringing their data back in-house to gain better control over costs.


This is particularly true for organizations that generate a large amount of data at the edge. The feasibility of sending this data to the cloud often depends on the volume and use of the data. In many cases, moving this data to the cloud does not make financial or operational sense.


Conclusion


The exponential growth in business-generated data underscores the urgent need for modern storage solutions. Traditional enterprise storage systems, with their inherent challenges, are proving to be less efficient and more costly. Modern Software-Defined Distributed Storage solutions, like Sangfor's aStor, offer a more adaptable, cost-effective, and unified approach to data storage and management. Moreover, the trend of cloud repatriation suggests that enterprises are seeking more control over their data and costs, sometimes finding on-premises solutions more favorable than the cloud. As data continues to burgeon, it is crucial for businesses to adopt storage strategies that are both scalable and economically sustainable.

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