To better understand the current state of the object storage market in the Asia Pacific region, Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), has partnered with global research firm IDC to survey close to 4,000 IT professionals and executives in the region. A recently published whitepaper entitled, “Digitalization of the Business with Object Storage,” highlights the key findings from this regional survey. The IDC survey reveals low awareness of object storage among enterprises in the region, with 41% of surveyed enterprises not aware of the technology.
Digital transformation is a focus for enterprises across the region, and an integral part of this is the emphasis on data – making it the key to thriving against fierce competition in the digital era. IDC forecasts that global data will grow to 163 zettabytes by 2025. The majority of this data will be unstructured from sources that include social interactions, emails, transactions, music, videos, photos, IoT, augmented and virtual reality, and many more.
Data Storage a Key Issue for APAC Business
When asked about the top priorities for data storage, respondents across the region indicated the following capabilities as the most important for their organizations to support:
- Information security (25%)
- Analytics of unstructured data (11%)
- Multicloud platform adoptability (9%).
In addition to this, 60% of enterprises are storing data with the hope that in the next two years they will be able to use analytics to gain business insights from this data.
On average, enterprises in APAC store their data for five to seven years, with one-fifth choosing to store it for over 15 years. In Singapore, 40% of businesses plan to store their data for 5-7 years, while 15% of businesses plan to store their data forever, suggesting further pressure to manage and govern tremendous amounts of data created and accumulated over time.
It is evident that enterprises in the region are facing huge issues concerning data storage costs and functionality. Data storage solutions are expected to store and manage large amounts of data for longer periods of time. Moreover, enterprises expect these solutions to offer integrated intelligence and analytics features to help them realize the potential value of their data through manipulation, aggregation and visualization.
Modern Data Management for the Digital Age
Object-based storage architectures enable enterprises to deal with the drastic growth of data while improving ease of use, providing flexibility to scale capacity and performance independently to address provisioning management issues, and to meet a variety of workloads.
The top technology reasons respondents indicated for the deployment of object storage in APAC were to:
- Address scalability issues due to relentless growth in unstructured content (15%)
- Reduce complexity by eliminating complex hierarchical file structures (13%)
- Ease data migration and infrastructure refresh (12%)
Historically, object storage has been used as a data archive tier due to its scale and compliance features. The survey revealed that 67% and 64% of respondents indicated that they are using object storage to aggregate and store big data repositories, and to optimize their backup and recovery capabilities respectively.
Treating an object storage solution as a big data reservoir or scalable and centralized data hub enables analytics-based applications to blend structured and unstructured data together for business intelligence and visualization workloads. The custom metadata that object storage solutions attach to files as a form of detailed enrichment gives unstructured data more context and makes it easier to search.Aggregating unstructured and structured data together improves the enterprise’s ability to gain more relevant insights from a more complete set of data.
The survey further examines the top business drivers for enterprises to deploy object storage in the future:
- Achieving flexibility to add storage capacity as business grows (18%)
- Reducing storage management costs (16%)
- Increasing business agility (13%)
- Improving data analytics capability for faster decision making (12%)
Despite the wide range of benefits object-based storage offers, the IDC survey reveals low awareness among enterprises in the Asia Pacific region, with 41% of surveyed enterprises not aware of the object storage technology. Among the countries surveyed, Singapore sees the lowest awareness at 52%.
Overcoming Adoption Hurdles
As the survey findings indicate,the three most common obstacles for adopting object storage are:
- Application compatibility (52%)
- On-premise business applications that do not necessarily require infinite scalability (44%)
- Stringent data protection and recovery (43%)
As reflected in the results, enterprises who choose to test or adopt object storage are more likely to realize the benefits of the technology in their specific business requirements and use-cases. For more details on the cost benefits of object storage, the IDC whitepaper reviews three case studies of customers who achieved cost savings from 30% to 70% when using object storage solutions.
“We believe the findings of this survey have pinpointed the opportunities and future of data storage infrastructure across APAC. With the explosive growth of unstructured data and rapidly changing business demands in the digital age, enterprises inevitably require the support from flexible and agile storage solutions,” said Daniel Chong, senior vice president and general manager, APAC, Hitachi Vantara. “Based on our work with clients, we have seen object-based storage continue to be the solution to traditional storage struggles. It is clear that we must educate and work closely with enterprises across the region to develop and deploy tailored solutions to unleash the full benefits of object storage and facilitate digital transformation.”
HCP Portfolio Solves Data Challenges
The Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio addresses today’s data challenges while being highly adaptive to the future needs of businesses. The portfolio is based on an object storage solution with the ability to manage and govern data to the edge of the business, support a highly mobilized and distributed workforce, tier to public and hosted cloud layers, and offer an integrated data intelligence foundation. The benefits of these products include:
- Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) to address the new challenges in storing digital information with centralized and cost-effective management and governance features for multistructured data, minimizing the risk of data loss, and making data easier to access with object storage concepts.
- HCP Anywhere to address the demands of the end-user with collaboration, file synchronization, files sharing, and file protection without compromising the requirements of the business.
- HCP Anywhere Edge as a means to bridge the gap between traditional storage architectures (NAS) and object storage with the added benefits of pushing data to the edge (remote office) and to the cloud.
- Hitachi Content Intelligence to help organizations understand the context andcontent of data impacting their business with a scalable and performant solution to connect, understand and explore repositories to extract fact from data and be in the know.
To learn more, please refer to the IDC whitepaper “Digitalization of the Business with Object Storage”.