Fran Villalba Segarra
Internxt Universal Technologies SL
Startup Contributor

Data Explosion: The Rise of Cloud Services

By Fran Villalba Segarra | Fri, 09/23/2022 - 11:00

Cloud services have exploded over the last few years and the fireworks don't seem to be stopping or slowing down anytime soon. The amount of data saved, stored, managed, analyzed, and monetized is mind-boggling. 

Each year, the amount of generated data expands by 120-140 percent. By 2025, upward of 80 billion devices will be connected to the internet, and humans will create approximately 180 trillion gigabytes of data. As data continually compounds itself, the question on many businesses' minds is: where to store it all?

Why Cloud Services Are So In Demand

The simple truth is that cloud storage is cost-effective and great at minimizing risk. Companies are beginning to generate vast amounts of data, all of which is considered an asset. 

Offloading or deleting it may hurt the bottom line in the future but paying for in-house infrastructure to store, analyze, and protect all that data can get expensive. Plus, in the event of a breach, you and your company have no one to blame or bail you out. 

Also, the scalability of cloud services and the ability to acquire (or ditch) services on demand make it highly flexible and perfect for the fast-moving online economy. Even for consumers and end users, only paying for the services you need makes the storage cost affordable and the value proposition worth it.  

Lastly, throw in rising energy costs (especially electricity), and you can see why almost no one wants to run their own services 24/7.

The Cloud Is Officially Safe and Thinking Green

We've finally passed the threshold where most cloud services are now safer than hosting a local network or using physical drives. Encryption and other security technologies make sending and storing data in the cloud extremely secure. There are plenty of privacy issues with cloud services but most come from loose privacy policies pushed by less than honest providers. 

We're already seeing a rise in social purchasing and privacy rights. End users are seeing their data as theirs for the first time on a large scale. People are beginning to understand the social implications of big data. At the same time, everyone is waking up to the problems caused by climate change: 17% of the total carbon footprint caused by technology is due to data centers. A current single data center can consume more power than a medium-sized town. The cloud industry must address this to continue expanding and ensure permanence.

The Growing Applications of Cloud Storage, Edge Computing

Cloud storage and other cloud computing services are making their way into virtually everything. Cloud storage is well-renowned for its data redundancy, backups, and disaster recovery upsides. Still, you will now see cloud services leveraged for AI, machine learning, data lakes, IoT, and much more. 

Cloud storage is paramount in moving the data and computing closer to the users. This push of processing closer to users is known as edge computing. Edge computing means moving cloud drives as close to the network's edge as possible instead of off somewhere deep in the network. This commitment to delivering data to a device nearer to the user results in a much quicker, almost instantaneous response. Cloud providers are finding ways to create and maintain mini-data centers closer to the end user via peer-to-peer networks and other methods. 

New Cloud Storage Technologies on the Horizon

How we store data is only getting more and more advanced with each passing moment. The days of hard drives and SSDs aren't entirely gone yet, but things are getting interesting. Some remarkable developments are emerging from research departments worldwide and some of these breakthroughs could lead to reaching speeds and storage capabilities that once seemed impossible. 

Let's get a bit technical. The continued growth of data storage capacities is impressive. HDD will remain the dominant technology for the near term while flash grows in prominence and tape deployment similarly expands. The increasing adoption of flash-friendly form factors recognizes flash's significant performance benefits over HDD. 

In sum, you'll see many hybrid storage models as we advance, like the retrofitting of NVMe protocol to SAS and SATA HDD. This is a total turnaround from the previous decade. Now, the emphasis is on rigging solid state drives for HDD interfaces. 

The introduction of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) will cause an explosion of data generation and create tons of new applications for data never before possible. These advances are granting the ability of data center software to comprehensively access all possible storage under its watch. This unified view will increasingly extend from hyper-scale data centers to the edge.

And to go really far out, initiatives like Microsoft's Project Silica are working to make glass-quartz storage a reality. Yes, we may someday be storing information on glass. Work is even being done harnessing DNA as a form of data storage. Soon, you may see computers reading and writing DNA rather than spinning hard drives and flash. 

Internxt's Roadmap for the Future 

Internxt is riding the cloud service wave and doing everything we can to push our privacy services into the future. 

We're working on offering new services like our recently launched file transfer service Send, among others, coming very soon. We're constantly updating, patching, and improving our network, making it faster, more efficient, and easier to use than ever. We're on track to expand our ecosystem to encompass all users' online privacy and cloud needs. 

More services and the integrations between those services is the name of the game. Providing the best cloud experience while maintaining airtight security and respecting user rights is Internxt's  No. 1 goal. We are building the cloud privacy suite of the future and we'll be ready for whatever security challenges the next decade brings.

Photo by:   Fran Villalba Segarra