An open hand with a glowing 2022 floating above it.

3 Predictions for the Data Center and Enterprise IT in 2022

2021 was a year that many people are excited to put behind them. From the impact of COVID-19 to global supply chain shortages impacting businesses and consumers alike, the world seems ready for a new change. As we welcome this new year, we pondered some of the changes, trends and impacts we can expect to come in 2022. We’ve examined several factors and conducted some unique research to identify what may impact markets globally. Here is a look into some key predictions for the year ahead.

Trucks, ships and planes with a network diagram representing the global supply chain

1. Global chip shortages are going to make organizations rethink their upgrades

The simple truth is that the supply chain issues for delivering international goods isn’t slowing down. From container ships getting into harbors, to trucks transporting goods and raw materials from the docks, the supply-chain delivery issues are having a wide-spread impact. For most of the technology market, that means an impact to chip availability and manufacturing. Thus, tech refreshes aren’t going to happen as fast as processor manufacturers would like. The global shortage is going to cause delays in things like GPUs, memory, select storage and various other components.

Data centers may see the hardest hit if they’re looking to maintain SLAs through hardware upgrades. Due to the lack of available product, there are two options for upgrades: either pay through the nose for just-in-time inventory and have it shipped via air; or increase a dependence on local contract manufacturing to create products for technical specifications. Both of these options are substantial investments, likely only considered by hyperscalers, but they can circumvent the supply-chain bottleneck for off-the-shelf product availability.

However, one bright spot has been in NAND. Because of the supply currently available for flash storage and memory manufacturers, the best upgrade option will likely be for data center managers to get more out of their existing stack. This includes upgrading memory, enhancements to flash storage (either NVMe or SATA) and improving bandwidth allocations through overprovisioning.

2. Cybersecurity concerns will drive new technology purchasing requirements

If we’ve learned anything from SolarWinds, Kaseya or any of the recent ransomware attacks: It's not if, but when you’ll get breached. Security has become one of the leading factors in IT purchasing, as more organizations look to minimize risk and mitigate vulnerabilities. As a result of the pandemic, security teams are facing an ever-growing attack surface with a hybrid workforce. Tools like multi-factor authentication, VPN access and encrypted cloud-based storage are now mandatory for several regulated industries, and their use is becoming standard for many IT organizations.

Person using a device under a layer of various application icon graphics

The question begging most IT and security organizations now: Is the cost of implementing redundant and encrypted stacks worth more than the cost of a breach and its remediation?

The most recent data breaches and hacks show that the cost of rebuilding can be astronomical for not only replacing corrupted or breached infrastructure, but also for business continuity interruptions or any fines associated with customer data leakage. Accordingly, more IT and data center managers will equally rely on encrypted drives, while also implementing complex redundancy strategies.

A hand holding a mobile phone

3. Content explosion is going to put a strain on Cloud storage

Today’s 5G infrastructure is making content easier for consumers to watch video, create content and share it across multiple social platforms and websites. And, given the explosion of content creation over the past few years, there’s no sign of it slowing down. In fact, a recent Cisco estimate states that live video and content creation will grow 15-fold by the end of 2022.

But, with the explosion of viewership, one of the hardest feats is keeping up with the storage demand from consumer apps. Services like TikTok are not only booming with popularity, but their model of allowing viewers to become content creators themselves, adding reactions or other iterations can put a strain on storage paradigms.

For example, a standard 1 minute mobile might only consume 100-200MB of storage. But if that video becomes a content launch-point (e.g. popular dance, music video, or reaction video), there could be anywhere from 40-4,000,000 different versions depending on popularity. What started as 100MB of storage could quickly become 400TB if insanely viral.

Granted, not all videos live forever, and some of the applications may only maintain content for a set period of time, but the elastic nature of video creation services requires that data centers allocate for dynamic growth while also maintaining low latency for playback and seamless user experiences.

While the future of our industry contains many uncertainties, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see where things are headed. Now is the time for businesses to re-examine goals and needs to put their best foot forward in 2022.


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