Top trends in data storage

7th July 2016

Top trends in data storage

Data storage trends

In 2016 the planet is creating more data than ever before with huge volumes of daily content. As businesses, it’s how we manage this mass user based data proliferation that will determine who wins… and who struggles.

For example, by 2020, the companies which can effectively store and deliver actionable insights from their data will achieve an extra $430 billion in productivity benefits compared to those who cannot ( )

So it’s what you do with your data that counts most. How you manage it, store it, and access it. This blog examines the latest trends in data storage that organisations are using to run smarter, more profitable businesses.

Cloud storage
Cloud technology has become key as a support for data analysis, back up, as a place to store data, and as a means to deploy software as a service applications. Cloud is actually consumerising storage by offering enormous potential for scalability combined with the payment for storage as needed. With cloud storage the need to buy servers and storage networks as part of a traditional storage set up is removed, as is the need for I.T. teams to manage that storage.

Most enterprises are looking at a hybrid cloud strategy, in which a core quantity of storage is still kept on premises, with the public cloud used for lesser priority data. Some difficulties emerge in relation to cloud as data can become siloed, with key assets spread across multiple cloud players. Security and the protection of data in the cloud means that encryption of data not only while in transit but also while at rest is useful, while yet other storage seeking clients may ask to hold the encryption keys themselves.

Software defined storage
Traditional storage contains challenges in provisioning and ongoing management that impede the dynamic application service levels required today. Consequently, we’re seeing a transition from hardware centric storage in which advanced functionality was contained within the storage device itself to non hardware defined options, in which provisioning and management of storage is defined by software across lower commodity hardware. In addition to this being a lower overall cost approach, other major benefits and drivers are improved scalability, accessibility, security, and control of information.

Essentially, software defined storage (SDS) moves the advanced functionality out of your storage devices into your servers, making for easier and better management. Because SDS works across multivendor storage devices, for both onpremises and offpremises cloud deployments, it allows you to use existing hardware investments, and promotes a better cost benefit analysis compared to completely changing storage environments or continually adding new hardware.

Hyper converged infrastructure
Hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) is one of the fastest growing sections of the storage industry. Companies are attracted to HCI as it can help simplify the operational issues associated with the typical siloed model of networking, storage and servers. It does this by centralising these elements into what is today being called the software defined data centre.

HCI essentially combines compute, storage and virtualisation into a single x86 based system deployed in scaleout clusters to enable next generation data centres. It focuses on data control and management and a quicker time to value realisation. HCI can help companies avoid expensive over provisioning, get projects to market faster, and benefit from easier data protection.

Nonetheless some frustrations and the potential for costs to climb do exist, particularly with the potential for new silos of data to be created which have to be managed and maintained each time a new HCI deployment occurs.

Flash storage
With uptake increasing over the last year, flash storage is becoming an increasingly popular storage method delivering some solid business gains. In a nutshell, flash memory can lower energy consumption, requires less space than physical hard drives, and can provide faster, superior performance back to the business.

Even though it’s existed for some time, recent traction is due to its faster performing flash memory, and the fact it can help lower overall costs and deliver better efficiency. Flash also incorporates deduplication and compression, one of several reasons organisations have started using it for existing workloads.

Companies today are beginning to reengineer their IT environments, with flash storage making up a large portion, if not 100%, of their storage environment. The cost of flash storage has lowered and it is now capable of supporting petabytes of data. This is good news for companies with very large or complex IT environments, as they can gain the benefits flash storage provides, without necessarily deploying it 100%.

Every organisation is unique and there are often different triggers which set in motion the need to change or improve any given storage environment. To discuss your ongoing storage strategy, get in touch with us at Advent One, your preferred IBM partner and Australian storage specialist, to examine the right storage strategy for your organisation.

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