The Enterprise Challenges of Data Growth, Storage Proliferation, and Flat Budgets
The enterprise challenge to stay ahead of its data growth is well-understood. Applications are creating more data. File sizes are increasing. Organizations are keeping more data for longer periods of time.
And also well-known, the largest segment of this data growth is unstructured data such as video, images, documents, emails, presentations, spreadsheets, and similar file types. Reports estimate that 90% of the world’s data is unstructured and growing at 55-65% each year. This challenge will only become greater in the time ahead from hi-resolution video, edge computing, 5G, IoT, and new regulatory demands.
Complicating the matter of enterprise data growth, the choices for storage have expanded tremendously. Enterprises now have many decisions about where to place their explosive data accumulation both on-premises and in the cloud.
Unfortunately, while data is growing rapidly and storage choices are increasing, IT budgets are not. This issue is a major disconnect. It forces IT organizations to store, manage, and protect existing data, and deal with the new data coming in with constrained resources.
Data Management Software – Overseeing the Enterprise Data Landscape
Data Management Software (DMS) has evolved as a solution to oversee, understand, and orchestrate data holistically for an enterprise across multiple storage tiers, platforms, and locations. The best solutions not only analyze but migrate data with the result that data is placed on the storage class it belongs for organizational priorities.
While there are many beneficial attributes of data management software, three that are critical for helping administrators manage their organization’s data include:
- Wide storage platform integration. Organizations use Data Management Software across storage platforms, technologies, and protocols. Implementations involve data centers, remote locations, and cloud platforms. Solutions integrate multiple storage technologies such as flash, disk, or tape. Data Management Software works with all these technologies to manage and optimally place data on the right platform for the right service.
- Data analysis. Data Management Software views its source storage systems as a virtual data repository. The solution provides analytics, insights, and oversight across all tiers of storage. The software application presents a snapshot of an organization’s data landscape and who is using that data. Armed with patterns and trends of their data landscape, IT decision-makers can make knowledgeable business and storage decisions across multiple storage types and vendors.
- Data migration features. Through meta-data-driven data management and user-defined policies, Data Management Software migrates data between tiers for cost, performance, and monetization priorities. The software performs data movement in the background without affecting performance.
The most significant advantage for organizations implementing Data Management Software solutions is that they lay a foundation for managing their data growth with their existing storage infrastructure.
And enterprises implementing these applications enjoy these benefits:
- Relieves primary storage demand. Data Management Software manages data across storage tiers from primary flash or disk to archival, long-term storage. By policy, these solutions identify aged data and migrate it to appropriate storage tiers. Many estimate active data represents a ten percent average of their storage. By only keeping active data on primary storage, organizations free valuable space on tier 1 storage. The application creates a lean, organized, and higher performing primary storage infrastructure focused on critical business needs. This reduction in expensive primary storage leads to less maintenance and energy costs.
- Reduces backup and disaster recovery storage needs. Many enterprises still use backup for storing inactive data. This practice costs organizations time and money. Consider that adding one terabyte of data to primary storage increases backup and disaster recovery by multiple terabytes. As Data Management Software reduces the demand on primary storage, backups and disaster recovery storage also reduce. Backup software, which must scan for incremental changes, speeds up, only scanning active data.
- Improves storage budgeting and costs. As organizations understand their data regarding the who, what, when, and why of its creation and use, they can better plan and budget for its growth. Enterprises increase flexibility in deferring storage upgrades and replacements. They also reduce their storage expenses through optimizing necessary storage for cost and performance. These savings free up the IT budget to address other business priorities.
Data Management Software has emerged as a solution that enables IT decision-makers at a macro-level to holistically survey, understand and manage all of their organization’s data. These benefits provide tools for optimizing storage utilization, managing costs, and extending the life of an organization’s storage infrastructure.
Go Beyond Data Management to Data Leadership
Beyond exercising management over their data, DMS software helps organizations exercise leadership over their data. How do principles of leadership versus management apply to data storage? I will explore the answer to that question in my next article.
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