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Innovations In Enterprise Storage
The adoption of advanced storage technologies, such as DNA storage and immutable backups, is on the horizon, but some are still a long way off.
FREMONT, CA: Multiple factors, including the need for security, speed, efficiency, and lower costs, drive a significant transformation within the data storage industry. Gartner, an IT research firm, recently forecasted a 23-fold increase in shipped petabytes by 2030, a trajectory that will radically transform and redefine current data center and IT operations. To remain at the top of the storage game, keep an eye on the following eight trends.
DNA storage: DNA, when used as a data storage medium, promises a storage environment with significantly greater capacity and resilience than conventional storage architecture. DNA storage enables data storage at the molecular level, archiving information directly into DNA molecules.
DNA-based data storage is advantageous due to its density and stability. One gramme of DNA can store approximately 215 petabytes of data for at least 500 years. However, do not leave the media in direct sunlight, as UV degrades DNA.
However, it is essential to note that this is a long-term trend. Although DNA storage is advancing rapidly, DNA media is unlikely to become mainstream. Some optimists believe DNA storage may become commercially available by the decade's end, but there is currently no firm timeline for its availability.
Current DNA sequencing and synthesis technologies are too expensive and slow to compete with traditional (storage) infrastructure. There is still a minimum latency of minutes to hours and a maximum throughput of kilobytes per second for writes. A competitive DNA drive with tape archiving must support gigabits per second write throughput. To achieve this speed, DNA synthesis, the writing process, would have to become six orders of magnitude faster. The reading process of DNA sequencing must become two to three times faster.
There is still a critical cost barrier to overcome even if access latency and throughput issues are resolved. DNA sequencing and synthesis costs hover around $800 million per terabyte.
Storage protection: Most businesses pay close attention to network security, but few protect their data in transit or at rest. Many organizations share data between their on-premise data centers and public or private cloud environments. In the era of ransomware, it is crucial to invest in air-gapped data backups so that data copies are inaccessible in the event of a significant breach. Air-gapping is using a standalone computer that is not connected to a network.
Entrepreneurs observe a growing interest in enhancing cyber resiliency capabilities. Write-once, read-many (WORM) technology was developed years ago to meet the needs of financial institutions complying with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Businesses in healthcare and other industries are now using it to prevent data modification. For instance, NetApp SnapLock and Dell OneFS SmartLock have been given new life. Products such as Superna Ransomware Defender for Dell OneFS and NetApp Cloud Insights with Cloud Secure for ONTAP offer real-time analytics capabilities for primary file/NAS storage protection. Users of block storage have access to multi-factor or protected snapshots to safeguard sensitive data.
Storage products with built-in security capabilities complement broader enterprise security initiatives, such as adopting zero-trust network access (ZTNA) to protect enterprise data.