Is 2022 going to be the year digital infrastructure and data center education go mainstream? Will everything be offered as a service? Will we catch up to the cybercriminals? Where are we going to store all of this data we’re creating? And, most importantly, what does the future look like? 

Those are just a few of the questions floating around in the minds of most industry professionals. But, let’s see what the industry experts expect before we keep ourselves up all night worrying about issues that may very well be nonissues in the future. 

As-a-Service Models

“Suffering through a love-hate relationship for some time now, IT will start to further embrace desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) for its ability to scale. During the overnight switch to remote work, enterprises learned the harsh lesson that on-premises desktop virtualization solutions are inflexible and difficult to scale. Using hyperscale, cloud-based DaaS provides organizations with all the tools and capabilities they need to enable hybrid work for employees as it is infinitely scalable and, most importantly, affordable.”
— Vadim Vladimirskiy, CEO of Nerdio 

“In 2022, the Ransomware-as-a-Service model will see continued growth as it has proven to be an incredibly efficient vehicle for maximizing profits. While the growth trajectory is staying the same, the primary target of ransomware attacks will not. Government involvement in defense of critical infrastructure will motivate ransomware groups to target SMBs in order to draw less attention than larger, high-profile targets.”
Troy Gill, senior manager of threat intelligence at Six I App River 


“More remote work brings with it more concerns about unprotected endpoints and home networks spewing unvetted data into the corporate network. Keyloggers, network sniffers and other nefarious technologies running outside of the corporate environment can be introduced into the network via work-from-home employees. Security best practices, like zero trust and MFA, will help reduce some of these concerns. Also, a cloud-based desktop virtualization environment can reduce the surface area of attack and allows an IT administrator to have full control over corporate data and prevent its leakage to questionable users’ personal devices.”
— Vadim Vladimirskiy, CEO of Nerdio

In 2022, we’ll continue to see the proliferation of ransomware hitting all sizes of businesses. But we’ll also see an escalation of the ransomware attack model with extortionware. With more businesses maintaining secure backups to avoid paying a ransom to unlock encrypted data, cybercriminals are now threatening to publicly expose sensitive data.”
— Chris Berry, CTO and general manager of security solutions at PDI Software

“Manufacturing is already a rich target for those seeking to carry out attacks on critical infrastructure. As supply chain issues continue well into 2022, this period of disruption will provide ample opportunities for attackers, who thrive in times of increased uncertainty. This will make the manufacturing and distribution industry the most targeted industry for cybercriminals next year.”
—  Troy Gill, senior manager of threat intelligence at Six I App River

"We should expect cyberattacks to become a staple of military arsenals in 2022 and beyond. Next year, more nation states will use digital vulnerabilities in smart cities, state, and local governments to undertake cyberattacks, which are part of national offensive strategies."
—  Eric Trexler, vice president of G2CI Sales  

"In 2022, organizations will turn to analytics to recalculate their understanding of cybersecurity risks and to reshape their protection strategies. When we talk about business risk, it boils down to two fundamentals: one, what we are protecting, and, two, the factors that impact our ability to protect. The last 18 months has seen a gradual erosion of the rules we had in place to manage workforce behaviors, and without an accurate understanding of this behavior, risks can easily be introduced. The new rules that govern technology and personnel requirements for the remote and hybrid workforce will drive how we protect our organizations from both internal and external threats."
 — Margaret Cunningham, principal research scientist, G2CI


"The world of data center information management is generating reams of data on the performance of our data centers, creating a universe of metrics we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. Now, with the application of AI software technologies, we will soon be able to provide predictive analytics to know when something breaks before it breaks."
— Dennis Cronin, CEO of the Americas for DCIRN

"Massive data growth combined with significant changes in the way we work today and a rapid rise in cybercrime has driven increased challenges for data center managers. In 2022, it will be critical to respond to these demands and to pursue and achieve digital transformation strategies that enable organizations to store, manage, and protect data at scale. And I predict that in 2022, data center managers will find that the ideal way to do this will be to start with the right data storage foundation.

In 2022, organizations will seek a data storage foundation that enables them to support a mix of workloads. The storage will allow for flexible configurations and simplified expansion to meet a wide variety of capacity and performance requirements. Next, organizations will seek a solution that provides multi-protocol support. Certainly, at a minimum, the storage will support block (iSCSI, FC) and file (NFS, CIFS/SMB). However, given the increasing desire to run cloud-native applications, backup and restore critical data, as well as archive data in the cloud, S3 object storage support will become a must-have as well. 

Today’s digital transformation strategies would be remiss if data protection and business continuity were not at the top of the list of considerations as well. This is especially true in 2022, when data center managers are not just concerned with equipment malfunction, but also insider threats and external cybercriminal activity, such as ransomware attacks. So, capabilities such as immutable volume and file system snapshots that deliver secure point-in-time copies; object locking for bucket or object-level protection for specified retention periods; and pool-scrubbing to detect and remediate bit rot and data corruption will be deemed essential.”
—  Surya Varanasi, CTO of StorCentric

“Today, more than ever, data can be lost by accident, damaged by a natural disaster, or fall victim to cybercrime. In 2022, with ransomware continuing to grow as a threat, data protection will become the most indispensable component of every organization’ digital transformation strategy.

In 2022, the 3-2-1 backup rule will continue to be the golden rule of complete data protection. This means that organizations will keep three copies of data saved across at least two media types, with one more copy saved off-site. In 2022, ROI will also remain the name of the game, so organizations will seek a proven solution that makes this easy and affordable to implement. The ideal backup solution will enable a backup script to a local destination and a backup transfer script to an off-site target. Using a transfer script to copy backups to a second location enables the administrator to perform the operation offline, without the original source needing to be used.

In 2022, there will be various options available for implementing 3-2-1 workflows. The first possibility will be disk and cloud. Combining local disks and cloud storage locations is a common pattern for a backup strategy. An available backup on a local disk translates into very fast recovery time, as the local network allows for much higher bandwidth. A remote backup on a cloud storage location insulates the organization’s data from disaster, malware, and other problems that arise. The second option will be network-attached storage (NAS) and cloud. NAS devices are an affordable on-site storage location for backups. Leveraging an on-site NAS ensures a large, dedicated storage pool and high bandwidth for backups. Transferring those backups to the cloud as an offline process allows administrators to avoid touching the original source multiple times. The third option will be disk and tape. Disk remains the most common storage media, and tape continues to make strides in speed and storage capacity. With a local disk, the administrator can quickly back up their environment and have the backups available for fast restore. Using a tape library for off-site storage enables the administrator to store their backups in a safe location (like a security deposit box or a third-party storage locker) that, unlike the cloud, the administrator has physical access to.

Of course, in 2022, going beyond the 3-2-1 backup rule will provide organizations with extra insurance to protect their digital transformation initiatives. Organizations can choose to utilize a second cloud storage location (i.e., 3-2-2 strategy) or NAS, tape and/or cloud (i.e., 3-3-2 strategy) for added redundancy.

Finally, in 2022, utilizing WORM storage in the cloud with Immutable Backups will provide the best protection against ransomware attacks. With a locked backup, malware cannot delete your critical data, enabling the administrator to recover if the worst does happen. By combining the 3-2-1 backup with immutable backups in the cloud, administrators can ensure their organization’s data is protected against the latest threat landscape.”
—  JG Heithcock, GM of Retrospect a StorCentric company  


The experiences of the past 18-plus months have underscored the critical need of a modern data infrastructure in both private and public sectors. Data-based decisions and data-driven digital interactions cannot be made without the availability of the right data, at the right place, at the right time. We will recognize 2022 as an inflection point for adoption of comprehensive, automated solutions for hybrid multi-cloud data operations and orchestration.”
—  Buno Pati, CEO   of Infoworks