Cloud, flash memory and SaaS led data storage market in 2019. We look ahead at how these and others will play out in 2020.
Over the past year we saw new storage purchasing methods, different shapes for cloud storage, and even faster flash. From the looks of it, we can expect those trends to develop faster in 2020.
Storage as a Service
The development of storage as a service is one data storage movement that’s hard to ignore, as all major vendors offer it as an option. Purchasing on demand allows enterprises to switch capital expenditures to an operational expenditure.
In 2019, both Dell and NetApp entered the as-a-service market in big ways. Dell’s On Demand and NetApp’s Keystone started in an attempt to catch up to those already employed by IBM, Pure Storage and HPE.
Even though, Pure Storage began offering their on-demand buying model in 2015, they rebranded that program in 2019 to Pure Storage as a Service. HPE began HPE GreenLake in 2018 and has since vowed to offer all of its products as a service by 2022.
On-Site Cloud Providers
One if the fastest growing data storage trends to watch for in 2020 is the movement of public cloud services on-site, while data center suppliers speed up their push to offer services in the cloud.
In fact, array vendors have supported cloud tiering for years. Originally, this meant providing a plugin for replicating snapshots or archiving cold data to the public cloud.
Major cloud storage providers have flipped the script and now want an expanded role inside the data center.
Amazon Web Services introduced AWS Outposts. AWS Outposts is a cloud system designed for positioning itself as an on-site storage service. Essentially, the machines sit behind a firewall to constantly transfer data between local storage and the cloud.
As recently as last year, Google released its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) available to build and manage services, either in the hybrid cloud or on clustered local nodes.
Memory and Storage Come Together as One
Persistent memory is a second data storage trend that continued to explode last year. Intel Optane SSDs launched into the market in April 2019 and storage vendors wasted no time jumping on the new technology.
Dell, HPE, and Pure Storage took advantage.
- Dell EMC rejuvenated its PowerMax SANs with Intel Optane SSDs in order to handle reads and migrate hot data.
- HPE injected Optane SSDs in the 3PAR all-flash flagship as a read cache.
- Pure Storage introduced Optane-based DirectMemory cards for its FlashArray block storage.
Intel form factors include the Intel Optane DC persistent memory dual inline memory module (DIMM) and dual-ported Optane SSDs. Intel DIMMs will help push storage class memory (SCM) closer to the majority. In October 2019, Micron introduced its 3D XPoint-designed XT100, a competitor to Intel Optane.
NVMe Fabrics Hitched to Low-Cost NAND
Advances in NVMe flash continued in 2019. Although, development of NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) continues to be a work in progress. NVMe network fabrics are a critical component of the NVMe flash ecosystem as they minimize latency between servers and storage arrays.
In 2020, look for storage vendors to bring out multi-tiered arrays that make use of NVMe flash, quad-level cell (QLC) NAND SSDs and traditional SAS and SATA SSDs in the same system. Manufacturing of new quad-level cell (QLC) NAND SSDs is beginning to escalate, but the low-cost flash is emerging on vendor roadmaps.
These are just a few of the data storage trends that consumers should be aware of in the start of a new decade. One can also anticipate unforeseen advances and innovation have an impact on storage technology in 2020.