StorageMojo recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, which got me thinking about the next decade.

Think of all the changes we’ve seen in the last 10 years:

  • Cloud storage and computing that put a price on IT’s head
  • Scale out object storage.
  • Flash. Millions of IOPS in a few RU.
  • Deduplication.
  • 1,000 year optical discs.

There’s more, like new file systems, advanced erasure coding, data analytics, and remote storage management. All great stuff, making storage more reliable, robust, and easier to manage.

But hey, that was then. This is now.

Don’t worry: the next decade is shaping up to be even more exciting and disruptive than the last. OK, some of you should worry.

Grand challenges
For the next decade the storage industry has a new set of challenges. With the flood of data, especially video and IoT, we’ll need more capacity, at lower cost, using fewer human cycles than ever before.

That implies a number of new market opportunities for storage entrepreneurs. And more emerging storage technologies!

What are these grand challenges? Here’s my list in no particular order:

  • Data-centric infrastructure. Hyper-converged is a good start, but not the end-game.
  • Eliminate backup. Finally.
  • Fast object storage. Make scale-out advanced erasure codes fast and efficient enough to enable object stores to displace file servers.
  • Autonomous storage. Storage with enough AI to manage itself, including deleting data.
  • NVRAM optimized CPUs, I/O stacks and storage systems.
  • Much lower I/O latencies.
  • High density, low access time archives. Even more active than today’s “active” archives.

The StorageMojo take
I expect to write about each of these in the coming years. But the fundamental driver is that we do IT for the information, not the infrastructure.

Now that the rate of performance improvements are slowing – especially in CPUs, but also in networks and storage – we are forced to focus on important second order gains: reducing costs; tighter integration; greater flexibility.

Yes, there are breakthrough technologies ahead. But the future will be won by smarter architectures, not brute force, solving the big challenges of future storage.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.