Big Data Storage Solutions - The New Reality

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
April 18, 2012

According to some estimates, the world could have 15 billion connected devices by 2015. As staggering as that sounds, it’s nothing compared to the amount of data that these devices will create. By 2015, the annual global data center IP traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes—roughly 4GB of data per connected user, per day—which represents a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent! (In case you’re wondering, a zettabyte is a number with 21 zeroes after it.)

Fortunately, our technology partner, Hitachi Data Systems, works with us to provide cloud computing services for managing unstructured data that can help address this exponential increase in content. Hitachi’s solution enables organizations to move legacy or lower-value file data to cloud-based storage located within their organization’s firewall and only pay for the storage that they consume, when they consume it. We’ve seen it first-hand how this solution can help manage the explosive growth of data and lower data storage costs.

Here are 7 things to consider when looking for a cloud-based data storage solution:

1. Storage Sprawl – Too much to store also means too much to back up and manage. Neither cloud service providers nor enterprises with remote or branch offices can afford to be weighed down with a glut of storage, backup, content control and multifaceted application demands. Make sure your provider understands this and has the wherewithal to manage it appropriately.

2. Unstructured Data – Data types such as rich media, PAC images, legal documents, presentations and web pages are among the countless content types that impact the data center's ability to maintain control over this unstructured data.

3. Scalability – For distributed IT environments, one of the challenges with scalability is being able to manage the complexities of various storage settings without sacrificing cost efficiency, data agility, performance or security. Organizations are grappling with the need to manage active archives, backup reduction, cloud deployments and other mission-critical facilities. And all this requires flexible scalability.

4. Archiving and Compliance – Today's enterprise needs to archive critical data without sacrificing availability or rapid retrieval of data, and ensure file integrity and access along with authentication and retention enforcement.

5. Tape-based Backup and Data Durability – Cloud and remote operations demand capabilities beyond what tape backup can provide, including dynamic levels of data protection, constant integrity checking, RAID, data placement, search functionality and fast access.

6. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Data at distributed IT environments requires but does not always get the same levels of data protection and recovery as data residing on core infrastructure. Challenges with a distributed work model can hinder business continuity and disaster recovery.

7. Data Reduction – Data de-duplication and compression are 2 reduction methods that control data size by eliminating unnecessary copies and shrinking the amount of storage used for a given piece of content, respectively.

There’s a lot to consider when contemplating a cloud-based data storage solution, and companies should start thinking about them. At the current rate of data growth, the risk of drowning is real—but so are the rewards of action. In fact, we’ve seen this cloud computing service lower backup costs by up to 65 percent and tier-one storage by 30 percent, all while using current applications and processes.

How are you taking advantage of cloud computing solutions for managing data storage? We’d love to hear, so drop a comment below.

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Data Storage

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