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Scality's 2024 data storage forecast highlights AI, ransomware protection, HDDs
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

Scality, the global specialist in trustworthy, reliable, and sustainable data storage software, has shed light on its annual data storage predictions for 2024. The rising use of AI and the continued threat of cyberattacks place a spotlight on the necessity for efficient, secure solutions to reduce IT complexity.

Moreover, traditional data storage issues, the growth of data volumes, restricted budgets, a shortage of skills, intricate IT setups, and rampant cyber threats are expected to persist. The organisation gathered its forecast from the industry discourse initiated by customers and thought leaders.

Giorgio Regni, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Scality, discussed the noteworthy industry discussions held over the past year. These included debates on topics such as the potential obsolescence of hard disk drives (HDD), the contribution of on-premises data storage to advancing data management and artificial intelligence (AI), and the essential measures required to safeguard data from ransomware threats. The predictions for the coming year are built upon these themes, reflecting the ongoing evolution and challenges in the data storage and management landscape.

Giorgio Regni shared, "We've had some interesting industry debates with thought leaders this past year, including the potential death of the hard disk drive (HDD), the role on-premises data storage can play to help advance data management and AI, and, finally, what it really takes to protect data from ransomware. This year's predictions play off all of these themes."

Contrary to predictions of its demise by all-flash vendors, Scality anticipates that hard disk drives (HDDs) will persist. While flash media and solid state drives (SSDs) offer undeniable benefits concerning latency, they are still lagging behind HDDs in density and cost by 3-5x through 2028. Thus, the talks of HDD reaching its end-of-life are likened to the fallacy of the tape-is-dead argument aired about twenty years ago. HDDs are set to play a crucial role in future workloads.

Scality anticipates that companies will harness the enormous potential of their unstructured data, particularly images and other media, throughout the next year. When processed via AI/ML tools, this type of data can produce insightful results for applications such as image recognition in sectors like healthcare, surveillance, and transportation. Firms use scalable 'lakehouses' for storing petabytes of this unstructured data, ensuring availability and quick access to AI-optimised services whenever required.

The protection against ransomware and other malware forms has seen immense progress in recent years, especially through the application of immutability in data storage solutions. However, Scality predicts that the future of data protection lies in advancing AI-generated ransomware detection capabilities, which we can expect to come to fruition in 2024.

As multi-cloud becomes increasingly common for enterprises worldwide, managing the complexity of hybrid cloud systems poses significant challenges due to differing application deployment models and multiple vendor APIs. Yet, Scality posits that managed service providers (MSPs) will be indispensable in the coming year. These providers can assist organisations in resolving complex issues, ensuring they can attain the promised agility and cost reductions associated with hybrid-cloud models.