Data: the beating heart of an organisation

Editorial Type: Opinion Date: 2021-04-01 Views: 97 Tags: Security, Channel, Strategy, Cloud, Backup, SMBs, Giacom
Mark Radford, Director Enterprise Sales UK, Infinidat, discusses the various growing pains facing the modern I.T. leader

Big Data and the need for near continuous availability has changed the way businesses approach their capacity requirements. Driven by market forces and expected to reach 150 zettabytes stored globally by 2025 - according to IDC - data is growing at unprecedented rates. This has created an explosion in long-term data retention and archive access challenges like never before. But how can IT decision makers effectively and economically archive data, automate it, instantly access it and monetise it in the modern age?

GROWING COST OF UNPLANNED STORAGE
Budget tightening and the global economic downturn has increased the need for IT organisations to utilise new 'intelligent enterprise data storage' technologies that automate essential IT infrastructure components and mine more real value from their existing data centres.

The old ways are making way for the new generation at an accelerated pace and traditional models of storage management and purchasing are consigned to the past. Clearly, the future lies within effective, efficient infrastructure and data management. With the cost of acquisition now driving most IT decision makers' business decisions never has there been such a pressing need to have secure data solutions and cost-effective, flexible payment options that scale with the business needs. The focus has shifted to de-risking any initial expenditure from CapEx to OpEx which allows businesses to adapt successfully to unexpected change.

The need to install storage systems within a 'pay as you need' structure seems obvious to drive down costs. The global pandemic has rewired the traditional systems within business and a key element is to build in more capacity than you need at the start, so that scalable growth is at your fingertips and customers are not exposed to any potential shortfall or outage.


This new era will be made possible by software-defined storage that has the ability to access and upload data anywhere, with near-zero latency. It can be moved in a simplified, intelligent process based on satisfying real business needs. Continued software innovations will ensure legacy storage systems are more economical and easier to manage, while enabling the infrastructure to be future-ready and optimised for business.

CLEAR SKIES OR CLOUD?
Almost all CIOs understand the need to take the longer-term view of their IT infrastructure and existing architecture in terms of its adaptability to grow with the business and deliver on specific business goals. Modern IT leaders also demand a storage solution that works on-premises and in the Cloud, with the capability to seamlessly transition between both these platforms. Many IT departments are struggling to cope with a plethora of new activities, trying to leverage existing archiving systems while embracing new workflows such as remote collaboration or data distribution across disparate geographies and locations, as well as the increasing threat of security breaches.

Re-imagining the new structure demands increasingly smarter thinking about what belongs in the Cloud and what does not. Enabling modern data management tools and software-defined storage helps provide the path forward. Increasingly businesses have embraced public clouds, private clouds, multi-cloud deployments, and essentially on-premises infrastructure which has forced cloud technology to evolve and diversify.

This new era will be made possible by software-defined storage that has the ability to access and upload data anywhere, with near-zero latency. It can be moved in a simplified, intelligent process based on satisfying real business needs. Continued software innovations will ensure legacy storage systems are more economical and easier to manage, while enabling the infrastructure to be future-ready and optimised for business.

I.T. HEROES SAVE THE DAY… AGAIN
Specific job roles within all levels of IT are also changing - most have become more strategic roles that are less about the technological structure and build, and more about how to create new services for the business and bottom line. Longer term data storage planning raises the themes of data protection, simplification, monetisation, latency and flexibility. All of these must be addressed while also keeping costs to a minimum and building in the ability to grow possibly exponentially with no down time.

The focus has shifted to the management of this flood of data and how a business can generate tangible value from it that can be passed directly on to customers. This includes data that is stored on-premises or in the cloud, whether that's automating their critical data and archives or even applying AI to ask it questions and gain competitive advantage.

HOW SECURE IS MY DATA?
When faced with constant head spinning change too many IT departments have almost impossible choices to make and must compromise when making significant investments. Because of this cost-consciousness, security can then become a secondary priority.

The number of aggressive cyber-attacks from hackers that target backup and archive data is set to increase steeply in the next decade. Best practices include multiple copies on different technologies and destinations, and a call to establish proper assessments of an organisation's vulnerabilities. Intelligent investment in preventative and remediation type technologies, such as secure data backup, rapid recovery and protection through immutable snapshots, combined with 'always-on' data availability will mean businesses are protected from data unavailability as well as from increased cyber-security risks.

To meet the demands of contemporary digital landscapes and profitable business practices an innovative approach to storage and data management is needed. Moving organisations towards performance driven yet simplified 'on-premises' and hybrid cloud-based solutions is the goal - where the future of storage infrastructure, software and management will need automation, security and cost-effective solutions for future-proofing the new era of data storage architecture.

More info: www.infinidat.com