Surviving the Century of Data Growth

By: Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software

 

Dramatic business digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and everyday digital activities are driving immense data growth worldwide. Research shows that by 2020, the world will generate 44,000 Exabytes (EB) of data in one year alone — 37 times more the 1,200 EB generated in 2010.

 

At an individual company level, by 2020,industry experts expect to see at least 10 times more data in the average data centre. A company that had to manage and orchestrate 10 TB in 2010 needs to prepare to keep 100 Terabytes (TB) available in 2020. Keeping up can be overwhelming, and the need for continuous access to that data at any time has made us completely dependent on IT.

 

IT leaders are responding to this progressive data growth by shifting toward converged and hyper-converged IT infrastructures. Three years ago, IT started renewing data centers with more efficient flash and software-defined storage, taking data away from the traditional arrays and shifting the focus back to applications.

 

To keep up with data growth, IT needs to keep application performance, availability and scalability high, while minimizing storage costs per gigabyte. Software, along with cloud computing, will become crucial in meeting today`s business demands of both enterprises and end users.

 

IT CHALLENGES OF DATA GROWTH

When a company generates terabytes of data daily, it brings quite a few tough management challenges for IT. The sheer volume of unstructured data makes it difficult to gain valuable insights from it. At the same time, nothing can be deleted because it’s too difficult to sort out what’s unnecessary. In turn, storing and archiving all of that data fuels the exponential growth as well.

 

As the data growth trend continues, getting the most relevant data at your fingertips, when you need it, is only going to get harder. Businesses provide their services 24.7.365 and they need all data online and available at all times.

 

Enabling availability requires data centre modernization with the latest technologies and software solutions that support virtualization and storage across on-premise and cloud-based platforms. Huge volumes of unstructured data require a unique approach to storage. Storage systems should have enough flexibility to not only scale up, but also to scale out cost-effectively. On the hardware layer, you can achieve higher performance by implementing modern storage mechanisms, tiered storage and different types of media within the storage array, like flash and non-volatile devices. At the same time, traditional array features such as compression, deduplication and snapshotting are moving to the software layer, providing more flexibility for big data management.

 

THE WINNING STRATEGY

To survive in the age of data growth, you need to support your business with valuable insights. You need a strategic approach to data management. Scalability and availability are the two key pillars to developing this strategy.

 

Planning the future capacity demands of your infrastructure and workloads will help you get ready for future growth. Choose platforms, solutions and hardware that allow you to easily scale. Capacity planning solutions featuring resource reservation and built-in simulation scenarios can be very helpful when estimating your future resource needs.

 

Try to simplify your data centre management and add an orchestration layer into your existing environment. Hyper-converged solution stacks combined with a proven availability solution can dramatically minimize your total cost of ownership in terms of management overhead.

 

It’s important to understand your IT environment, know which workloads are mission-critical and break down applications into availability tiers. Each application has its own level of importance for business operations, and therefore should have a specific SLA tier. While some workloads demand absolute, uninterrupted business continuity, you can tier others at more moderate RTOs and RPOs and easily put them into public cloud storage, for example.

 

Data center modernization requires a combination of integrated solutions that allow you to meet all compliance and SLA requirements and respond to business and end-user demands.

 

Only a strategy embracing virtualization, cloud technologies, modern storage and a reliable availability solution will help you fully address the challenges of a massive increase in data. If you’re not thinking of your strategy right now, in a couple of years you may simply be lost.

 

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