Data Lakes Redefine Storage Infrastructure & Hybrid Clouds Come of Age

More than ever, I’m excited by the changes occurring in the IT landscape. This year, I see two major technology inflection points occurring simultaneously: data lakes and hybrid clouds.

The reason I believe this will hold true is because of the vast amount of data that has been and continues to be generated – driving demand across all aspects and types of storage. Specifically, unstructured data is seeing storage growth more than double every two years, while structured and semi-structured data is experiencing 20%+ annual growth.

This growth is being experienced across all industries, from financial services and life sciences to healthcare and manufacturing. And, organizations’ increasing reliance on data for intelligence-based decisions makes storage the most essential component of the infrastructure stack.

This level of data growth, combined with its importance as a corporate asset, leads businesses to look at means of reducing the aggregate cost and complexity of storage while ensuring there is no compromise on scaling of capacity or the performance demanded by the current and future applications that call on that storage.

The need for balancing cost and performance will lead to enterprises looking for innovation in their storage resource management and in their storage infrastructure encompassing cloud, file, transactional and analytics workflows.

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Data Lakes Replace Silos

From my vantage point, I see little doubt that the transition from traditional silo-based storage infrastructures to consolidated data lakes that are managed through intelligent software and that can scale to meet massive data growth and performance demands will become commonly adopted.

The data lakes, with the support of Hadoop, will enable organizations to obtain value from the vast volumes of data stored in their data lake foundations. Data lakes will drive workflow optimization within the enterprise and provide for an economical means of managing massive amounts of data and obtaining value from it.

But the transition to data lakes isn’t one that can be taken lightly. It will require a level of planning and analysis to ensure the foundational data lake architecture is aligned to the organization’s data-types and workflows.

Some organizations may incorporate multiple types of data lakes in their enterprise – a data lake for ultra-high performance transactional and analytics workflows; an Exabyte-scale geo-disbursed object data lake; a file-based multiprotocol data lake; or even a hot edge cold core data lake that combines ultra-high performance rack scale flash architectures at the edge and high capacity geo-scale platforms at the core.

From a vendor’s perspective it means that we’ll need to provide you with choice and flexibility in scale-out data lake architectures and products, and deliver solutions that encompass block, file, object and analytics workflows. It’s an exciting time to be overseeing the Emerging Technologies Division of EMC!

From the Data Lake to the Cloud

Most enterprises have embarked on a path to a cloud infrastructure for compute, storage, or both. In parallel with data lakes, 2015 will be the year that the hybrid cloud emerges as the dominate enterprise cloud storage strategy, leveraging external providers for bursting and archival repositories from primary on-premise storage.

What’s been limiting the hybrid cloud approach is the missing intelligent software management layer that’s needed to seamlessly orchestrate and integrate from the enterprise to the cloud. This is an area where we’re eagerly investing our engineering resources for the simple reason that with this resource management layer, the reduction in management personnel and floor space, as well as decreases in power and cooling resources in the data center is finally realized, with substantial cost savings that justify the shift to a hybrid model.

Hybrid model is not just about storage, it is about enabling our customers to build their own cloud computing footprint and deliver infrastructure as-a-service that is fully interoperable – not just compatible – with the leading cloud services. The future of these extensible cloud solutions will be based on OpenStack technology, the fastest growing open source cloud platform on the planet.

So there you have my top storage infrastructure predictions for 2015. Have comments or 2015 predictions of your own? I’d love to hear from you.

About the Author: CJ Desai