Guest Article

How AI Is Reshaping Storage Technologies

Somenath Nag - Vice President - Marketing & Corporate Strategy, Calsoft Inc.

Storage operates the same way it did decades ago. Storage vendors have, for years, been creating solutions that often rely on firmware-based operating systems in hardware devices, which are inefficient and costly. This is where artificial intelligence comes into play. AI capabilities are reshaping how storage technology behaves and works.

How exactly does AI help with this, though?

Artificial Intelligence has been described as the way to imbue machines with human-level intelligence. While true AI is a long way away, its current form is still capable of vast improvements to the systems we have in place.

However, AI isn’t just being used to optimize storage systems and technologies, it is changing the very nature of storage technologies, albeit in a roundabout way.

It is safe to say that data is the lifeblood of AI, as it needs to be trained on large datasets. These datasets need to be comprehensive and accurate, as any errors will compound, leading the AI to make incorrect analyses. Acquiring and structuring data in this manner is a complicated task, as businesses need to identify the data they generate, note its usefulness, eliminate unwanted data, understand its lifespan, and organize it correctly. They also need to perform compliance checks, data optimization, data cataloguing, and data governance.

On top of that, storing all this data with minimal corruption requires massive amounts of storage.

Given this laundry list of tasks, handling AI-relevant data becomes a full-time job. This is where the first advantage of AI comes in, via AI-enabled storage.

Legacy data storage solutions are no longer up to the task – they need to be transformed into smarter storage solutions with capabilities like deep learning and GPU processors to be able to drive real-time insights.

AI-enabled storage provides real-time continuous updates from enterprise data sources, optimizes it, and performs the intelligent work needed to make it usable. It does all this without human intervention, too! Let’s take a look at the advantages that AI-enabled storage provides.

Advantages Of AI-Enabled Storage

  1. Scalability: AI systems need to be able to process vast amounts of data in a limited period. This volume of data drives significant storage demands. Managing these datasets requires a storage system that can scale intelligently as per the requirements, which can be done easily with AI-enabled Cloud storage.
  2. Shared Data Stores: Shared data is valuable for AI, as the more data available, the better the analysis will be. AI systems learn from experience, and when experience is recorded in the form of data, AI algorithms will be able to predict and classify outcomes with greater ease, and even improve themselves.
  3. Data Insights: AI-enabled storage uses a variety of analytics tools and processes that deliver ultra-fast, high-performance insights about billions of stored objects and files. Major business decisions become much easier when assisted by accurate, data-driven predictions.
  4. Reporting and Alerting: AI-enabled storage helps build reports on the data functions and insights delivered. By setting up alerting systems, enterprises can tackle problems like data storage failure or data anomalies as and when they crop up. Intelligent reporting systems help regulate the storage of specific types of data and help avoid major issues.
  5. Failure Prediction: Storage failures have major consequences. Data lost in these situations is not easy to recover, but AI-enabled storage can detect failures before they happen and can restore it from the point of failure.
  6. Cost-effectiveness: Not all data generated by enterprises is useful, and AI-enabled storage can identify the usable parts. It can also note the patterns in which the data is used, allowing enterprises to optimize their data storage systems.

How AI Helps Datacenters

While AI has a vast number of business applications, it is also heavily used in data centers. Let’s take a look at some of the ways it helps.

  1. Temperature Maintenance: The data that AIs use is stored in vast data centers, comprising thousands of servers. Maintaining the temperature in these data centers is critically important, as any overheating can lead to damage. These facilities are equipped with smart sensors feeding data to AIs, which are then used to maintain proper temperatures so as to cause minimal wear and tear on the delicate electronic components.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: By identifying small anomalies in data processing and server performance, AIs can identify failing pieces of tech long before they break down. The analysis provided by the AI allows the people in the data center to replace any faulty servers or drives before major problems occur.
  3. Security: Given the massive amount of data that is received and transmitted in datacenters daily, glitches are bound to occur. However, AIs can learn what is normal and what isn’t and can stop any actual attacks by detecting anomalous traffic.
  4. Energy Consumption: Due to the many activities AI performs, along with intelligently controlling access rights, dynamic rerouting, and energy regulation, the energy consumption at data centers is greatly optimized, resulting in improved cost-effectiveness.

AI has led to nearly exponential growth in storage requirements, and human engineers do not have the capacity to effectively manage the large-scale data storage systems needed. AI-enabled storage allows enterprises to let the storage systems manage themselves. As these storage systems expand further, AI will undoubtedly have a greater role to play, and we are looking eagerly to the future to see how AI will reshape storage technologies further.

By Somenath Nag, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Strategy, Calsoft Inc)

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