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How 3 Major IT Shifts Will Impact Data Management and Storage Solutions in 2021

researchHQ’s Key Takeaways:

  • Over the past decade, the explosion of data created by enterprises and consumed by customers has forced data management and storage solutions to rapidly adapt.
  • The growing adoption of cloud-native models will likely shift how data is stored, accessed, and consumed in the cloud.
  • Increasing adoption of global data centres, public cloud, edge computing, requires data management that views data globally through unified namespaces.
  • The rapid evolution of technology demands data storage and management solutions that transcend change and preserve enterprise data in the long term.


As global creation of — and access to — data grows, these three IT trends will have a distinct impact on data storage.

In 2021, three major shifts in IT will impact data management and storage solutions:

  • Enterprise IT apps and infrastructure moving to the new cloud-native model
  • Data being generated everywhere, globally
  • Increasingly rapid evolution in platforms, APIs, and cloud services

Data storage has morphed significantly in the past decade to address the well-known avalanche of data that enterprises and consumers create and consume. The scale of data storage growth is truly astonishing. In the 1990s, one gigabyte of data seemed massive and a terabyte of data was a distant promise on the horizon. Today, we see companies of all sizes managing petabytes of data and beyond, even in industries where digital transformation arrived late, such as healthcare.

This explosion of data pressed the data storage industry to rethink the scale of systems and enabled solutions that we refer to as “scale out,” meaning the ability to grow across multiple physical resources. New ways of protecting data have also developed because traditional mechanisms (such as RAID) were simply outgrown and would have resulted in significant data loss if depended upon for petabyte-scale data.

Twenty years ago, only the wisest prognosticators could have foreseen video streaming services to personal mobile devices or the presence of ubiquitous and low-cost, high-speed connectivity. Storage providers have been forced to think about global 24×7 access to storage for thousands, even millions, of simultaneous users.

As global access continues, we see these three IT trends having similar influences on data storage.

Trend #1: Cloud-native computing will shape data storage deployment and access

Every 10 years or so, the world of IT faces a significant change in infrastructure that affects applications and the underlying resources they depend upon. Twenty years ago this change was driven by server virtualization, and just over 10 years ago we saw the emergence of public cloud services greatly impact how businesses leveraged IT. Both of these trends had an impact on data storage, and we see a similar trend emerging now as IT moves to a new model called cloud-native.

Cloud-native will cause a shift in enterprise IT applications and infrastructure, which will also transform data storage. The changes we foresee are in how storage will be deployed as well as in how it will be accessed and consumed by applications. Deployment in cloud-native computing environments relies on building blocks of software services called containers, which are managed in container orchestration environments such as Kubernetes. According to IDC, by 2023 — just two years from now — over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches.

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