Reliable and efficient data storage infrastructure is key to overcoming the challenges of the Yottabyte Age

BrandPost By Harald Weiss
Jun 27, 20234 mins
Data Management

The world's total data will soon reach the yottabyte (YB) and traditional technologies are completely unable to cope with this. At Huawei, we understand the challenges and the future solutions.

IDI Forum 2023
Credit: Huawei

Data volumes continue to grow, making it increasingly difficult to deal with the explosive growth. Huawei predicts that by 2030, the total data generated worldwide will exceed one YB, equivalent to 280 bytes or a quadrillion gigabytes. Whichever way you look at it, such numbers are beyond imagination. And that’s just on the volume side. Equally, if not more important, is the need for enhanced data storage and management to handle new applications. These applications require faster parallel processing of data in diverse formats. This implies that the interaction between data storage and data applications is being redesigned, leading to the emergence of new data paradigms. This is expressed by Dr. Peter Zhou, President of Huawei IT Product Line, who recently spoke at a customer conference. In his keynote speech, he noted, “We believe that data storage will undergo major changes as digital transformation gathers pace. This will of course create challenges — but also huge opportunities.”

When it comes to the causes of massive amounts of data, big data applications are a main factor. For example, 56% of enterprises are already deploying AI applications while 96% of enterprises plan to build cloud-native applications to deal with ever-changing data demands. Nowadays, 80% of data is unstructured data, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%.

Data Management in a Multi-Cloud World

Multi-cloud has become the new normal. According to the latest Cloud Report from Flexera, 89% of organizations have already implemented a multi-cloud strategy. This was commented on by Zhang Guobin, Chief Scientist of Huawei IT Product Line, who said, “Whether for multi-cloud, single-cloud or on-premises environments, users want easy, standard access to their data, making data orchestration across multiple platforms a necessity.” He also stresses that, even with the cloud trend, on-prem data centers will continue to use and produce huge amounts of data. Furthermore, for continuity purposes, organizations want to keep mission-critical data locally. This is another reason to run a private data center, as enterprises can gain a competitive advantage by building and operating processes and systems. “If everyone is using the same standard public cloud services, where is the competition? Not only must mission-critical data remain on-prem, but so must all company-specific applications,” he advises CIOs.

New Data Paradigm and New Resilience

To unlock the value of mass data and drive the development of modern storage technologies, data management must focus on more than just capacity and performance. There is a need for a new paradigm, smarter structures, and intrinsic resilience. For example, consider how AI operations are being integrated into data management systems or directly into storage devices. This enables independent configuration and storage placement while maximizing capacity and performance. All of these capabilities are based on APIs or a self-service portal, which allows infrastructure to be managed through an infrastructure-as-code model.

New storage systems also offer improved data resilience functions. This protection is addressed by Zhang who said, “Storage is the last line of defense against unauthorized access, and detecting ransomware is a major step to protecting your assets.” Innate resilience measures help to limit the impact and likelihood of a ransomware attack — the frequency which has increased by 98% YoY.

Storage Technology: A Rosy View

Even though data storage is as old as computers, it remains on the cutting edge of IT innovation. Zhang Guobin gave his insights into future trends. “I see two significant storage trends.” he said, “A new data paradigm created between applications and storage. Then, new interfaces or APIs that will provide better connectivity between components and IT infrastructure.” Zhang also nodded to the clear evolution of HDDs replaced by SSDs, adding, “The future clearly belongs to SSDs. They offer better performance, availability, and capacity, and deliver better energy efficiency at a more affordable TCO.”

Zhang also highlighted the future development of Huawei Storage. “We will continue to build AI into our storage products to drive system efficiency and reliability, while avoiding prolonged maintenance.” He also points to the range of applications.” Huawei storage systems will develop next-gen algorithms oriented to new applications. Technologies like deduplication and compression can work with different file formats, like videos and images, in the environments like Big Data or HPC,” he said, noting that this isn’t just a strategy — it’s a promise.

A Way to the Yottabyte ERA