Many organizations approach data storage from a tactical rather than a strategic perspective, and that’s a mistake.
Your organization doesn’t derive value from storing more data; it derives value from the information that comes from that data. When you view data storage through the lens of the business information it will generate, it changes the way you see your storage requirements. Suddenly, how much and how cheap aren’t the only decision drivers, as you consider how the scalability, security and accessibility of your storage architecture impact the extraction and flow of information through your business.
It’s not a big leap to move from a tactical storage mindset to a strategic one.
In fact, it’s often the difference of a day. We call this the “day after” effect. Once an organization has purchased enough storage to solve its current capacity issues (plus a reasonable cushion for the near future), they begin to think strategically. What happens if we start to bring thousands of data-generating devices online? Will our storage architecture crash if more people start accessing our data for real-time decision-making all at once? These kinds of day-after discussions are the conversations that should be happening before you buy any new storage system.
What Does an “Informed” Data Storage Architecture look like?
A modern storage architecture looks beyond capacity and cost to consider broader business issues such as organizational resiliency and automation. In the next few years, many organizations will undertake data-based initiatives that will have a profound impact on how data should be stored, shared and organized, including deep learning and real-time data streams from Internet-connected devices. These initiatives will place unique demands on the storage architecture and require levels of performance and protection that differ dramatically from the storage characteristics of the past. ▾
Machine learning is one example of how information in the next generation will impact storage. Most organizations, understanding that machine learning requires a large amount of data, will build dedicated data lakes to serve a small number of data scientists.
Once those scientists discover meaningful information within that data lake, however, it needs to move to a production environment quickly. If the data lake’s storage system is not architected for large-scale access and fast data recovery from the beginning, it can take weeks or even longer to redesign the storage environment to meet those requirements, costing that organization the competitive advantage they might otherwise have gained from that information.
Another consideration is the rise of ransomware. Mission-critical and sensitive information needs to be stored in a way that supports seamless, rapid recovery in the wake of a ransomware attack. Storage strategies that support this include isolated recovery systems, automated snapshots and data assessments to align data types (e.g., mission-critical, archival) with the appropriate storage technologies. Not preparing for rapid data recovery in the increasingly likely event of a ransomware attack is like not using RAID in your storage architecture—i.e., it’s a risk that organizations can ill afford.
Limited Storage Options can Box You In
Data storage isn’t a single challenge; it involves multiple layers of information, each with their own requirements for performance, security, availability and access. You wouldn’t, for example, use the same platform to store mission-critical data for your ERP system as you would for archival or backup systems. Multiple storage systems, however, can lead to “islands” of information that limit data visibility and increase operational complexity. To counter this, HPE has built a robust portfolio of storage products that can serve all your information storage requirements—from high-performance Flash-based appliances to hyperconverged systems and cloud-ready solutions—while providing a seamless, single pane of management. For external storage solutions, HPE offers three unique and complementary options:
- HPE 3PAR, the industry standard for enterprise data centers that require unparalleled scale and resilience;
- HPE Nimble, HPE’s newest storage platform, designed to deliver cloud-like efficiency and predictive insights into storage capacity and usage;
- The HPE XP7 appliance for large disk-based storage needs that demand the highest levels of availability and reliability.
HPE also offers different choices for hyperconverged storage platforms:
- HPE SimpliVity, an advanced hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform that offers unique features such as powerful data compression/deduplication capabilities;
- A large suite of platforms that are tested and approved for use in VMware vSAN architectures.
Finally, HPE customers have two choices for archival and backup storage systems:
- The HPE StoreOnce family of backup solutions for SMBs and enterprises;
- Scale-out storage solutions for file systems and archival needs from Qumulo and Scality, HPE NAS SOFTWARE partners. (RUNS ON HPE PLATFORMS.)
Get Started with Storage Advizer
At Rolta AdvizeX, we recognize that planning and implementing an effective storage strategy can be a daunting task. That’s why we offer our Storage Advizer: a multiphase service engagement designed to help organizations identify their current and future storage requirements, audit their existing storage architecture for capabilities gaps and address those gaps with solutions designed for their future.
One of the primary goals of the Storage Advizer is to facilitate the automation of data storage management, so that organizations can spin up new storage devices and virtual machines faster using pre-approved security and recoverability templates. At the close of the Storage Advizer engagement, your organization will have a clear set of actionable technology recommendations and a roadmap for the future, as well as an automated storage provisioning process that streamlines future storage decisions.
For more than 40 years, Rolta AdvizeX and HPE have worked together to help organizations achieve their goals through better technology. Today, we offer solutions from leading vendors to ensure that our customers get the best advice and the best technology in the world. ▪