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iXsystems Reveals Five Storage Industry Predictions as 2022 Promises Record Breaking Demand for Enterprise Storage

December 2021 by iXsystems

iXsystems announced five predictions expected to shape enterprise storage spending in 2022. The predictions come as new research from IDC shows enterprise spending on storage systems accelerated in 2021, with total storage capacity shipped rising 13.8% year over year to 88.7 exabytes.

According to the 2021 Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker by International Data Corporation (IDC), “The global market revenue for enterprise external OEM storage systems grew 9.7% year over year to $6.9 billion during the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21). Total external OEM storage capacity shipped was up 27.9% year over year to 22.1 exabytes during the quarter.”

iXsystems, a leading Open Source provider of enterprise storage systems and software, has seen this growth reflected in its own operations. Based on purchases from over a thousand customers and thousands of products over the past 12 months, the company is making several predictions on the trends it sees enterprise organizations prioritizing in 2022. These forecasts include the following:

1: Consumption of scale-out storage with both file and object capabilities will increase as more applications require.
The flexibility of scale-out storage will underpin a growing number of storage deployments in 2022. First proven in larger environments, small and medium size enterprises have proven choices in scale-out storage that are both affordable and easier to manage. It’s important that file or object workloads can be easily supported together as the needs of applications often change more quickly than the infrastructure.

2: Enterprise IT organizations will consider Open Source software-defined alternatives as they look to prepare for Web 3.0 and seek lower costs.
The storage market is very mature, with ample choice among products that meet the most demanding requirements. Some features, such as corruption prevention, data/snapshot efficiency, and write persistence in the face of power outages and hardware failures, have traditionally been restricted to proprietary enterprise storage solutions that aim to lock customers into restrictive vendor ecosystems. Open enterprise storage software is dynamically changing this market by offering a true enterprise-grade storage experience for demanding applications at a lower cost up front and over time. Software technologies such as OpenZFS, Minio, Samba, Ceph, and HDFS are mature and empower choices that can dramatically lower storage costs.

3: The harmony of Kubernetes, GPUs, and scale-out storage will be a long-term trend to support AI applications.
New workloads like AI require massive datasets, a high degree of parallelization, and high-performance compute and storage. The global enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI) market is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 39.7% to $USD 309.6 billion by 2026. This requires scale-out computing and storage performance, GPUs, and much more storage capacity. No single vendor provides all the pieces today.

4: Kubernetes with persistent storage and edge computing will change the way IT architects will think about storage and virtualization.
Kubernetes and Container Storage Interface (CSI) will become the way that storage is generally controlled. They significantly simplify the integration of applications and storage. With a clear future of KubeVirt providing integration of VMs with CSI as well, the traditional virtualization approaches of vSphere and OpenStack migrate to “classic” status.

5: Deployment of globally distributed “web 3.0” applications will accelerate the need for more flexible, efficient storage.
Many web 3.0 applications have the foundational technologies and infrastructure for sustained growth. There will be less focus on the capabilities of individual clouds and more focus on the software capabilities of these applications.

“These predictions reflect the trends and changes in consumption that are coming to the enterprise storage space in 2022 and beyond based on what we’re seeing and hearing from our customers and user community that’s currently over 250,000 members strong,” said Morgan Littlewood, Senior Vice President of Product, iXsystems. “Much of what will come to be will involve Open Source Storage, which has increasingly made its way into mainstream enterprise storage applications as more and more organizations discover the benefits to their operations.”

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