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Object Storage 2020 Outlook

Object storage provides a data archive at exabyte scale as we reach the tipping point for on-demand streaming, AI/ML and tech innovation.


The new year is upon us! That means it’s time for our object storage outlook for 2020. In the past decade, object storage has come a long way. Some would argue that object storage is still a technology looking for a problem to solve, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Object storage is an integral enabling technology behind cloud storage and every major online service—whether it’s eCommerce, social discovery, professional networking, media and entertainment streaming or just about any other service you can think of. So, without further ado, here is our outlook for 2020.

“On-Demand” Leads to New Demands

When we look back to 2020 in a few years, it will be clear that the tipping point for streaming service adoption was at the end of 2019 with the launch of Disney+. That’s not to say Netflix, Amazon Prime and all other services didn’t break down huge barriers of adoption. However, Disney’s approach and entry in the market will force a more rapid rate of innovation. Why is this important? Well…from a consumer conditioning perspective, everyone will expect to access the media they want, when they want it (even more than they do now). This is a trend that’s been evolving for some time, but Disney’s cross-generational appeal, vast content library, marketing expertise and global reach will dramatically increase the rate of adoption. That acceleration will feed new innovation as companies fight to retain and add subscribers. As with any consumer service, most of the innovation will happen in content creation and the ability to predict behavior and recommend content, and then to deliver that content at the highest possible quality. Object storage such as Caringo Swarm will play a pivotal role by enabling economical and massively scalable storage and streamlined delivery directly over HTTP.

One of the critical aspects of streaming services will be recommendations and delivery of long-tail content. Netflix has done a great job with both, but we will undoubtedly see the value of long-tail content with Disney+ given its extensive catalogue and expertise in re-releasing nostalgic content. Again, object storage will play a pivotal role by enabling service providers to add metadata to archived videos and deliver content to viewers seamlessly—directly from the archive storage layer to any device.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Focus on Throughput

The scientific method is a well-known model for hypothesizing, testing and analyzing results. The results are only as good as the validity of the data and the ability to analyze it. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) is this process run continuously and automatically at scale. The models built are only as good as the data that is fed into them and the model’s ability to adapt. In AI/ML use cases, the AI/ML model is the ‘viewer’ of data expecting access to data—regardless of when and where it was created. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if data was created locally by analyzing photos/video, on a financial exchange, in a car, on a satellite. Even if the data was generated hundreds of millions of light years away, this data must be collected, aggregated and accessible. The servers running the models are often in the cloud or in a remote data center, and it takes a lot of throughput to move data to them. This is another scenario where object storage shines. Best-of-breed object stores can use all available server resources in parallel to deliver data. And, just like in the long-tail streaming use case, all data needs to remain accessible. So, the storage needs to be economical…which leads me to my next point.

Accessible Archives Lead to Innovation

IT professionals are constantly searching for solutions to unique storage problems, and in the storage industry, we don’t always make it easy for you (but we do try). One example of this is the way some try to characterize and analyze specific technologies in an attempt to communicate benefits and value. In the storage space, this has led to a lot of vendors and analysts casting a rather negative light on the term ‘archive.’ Archives are often labeled as “secondary storage” or described as “infrequently” or “rarely” accessed. At Caringo, we see the addition of an “active archive” as a game-changing strategy that can benefit organizations struggling with how to store, manage and access unlimited amounts of data in a cost-effective manner.

As 2020 progresses, the value of keeping data accessible will come into sharp focus. When you are dealing with millions, billions or even trillions of pieces of data (videos, photos, audio, sensor information…) most, by definition, will be “infrequently” accessed, but does this make them less valuable? No. Just because something is not considered “primary,” it doesn’t make it less valuable or less important in our on-demand world. In today’s world, all data must remain accessible.

Brews and Bytes Live Stream Conversation

Object Storage Enables Exabyte-Scale Data Access

So where does object storage fit into all of this? Simply stated, object storage makes a massive amount of data instantly searchable and accessible in an economical way. Similar to the way object storage was integral to the proliferation of the cloud from 2010 to 2019, it will be the cornerstone of the most advanced data-driven innovations from 2020 to 2030.

If you would like to learn more about how object storage will enable technology in this new decade, join us on January 30 for our inaugural episode of Brews & Bytes. In this live stream conversation, CEO Tony Barbagallo, VP of Sales Ben Canter and I will give you a refreshing take on how object storage can be used and, most importantly, how it can help you innovate and succeed in 2020 and beyond.

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Adrian Herrera
Adrian Herrera

About The Author

Adrian "AJ" Herrera has over 20 years of experience bringing innovative storage, cloud and media software and services to market. With an MBA from San Diego State University and a BS in Information Systems from Chapman University, AJ serves as Caringo's VP of Marketing.

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