Digitalization has changed the way data is being stored and managed on this planet. So, as data growth is occurring, businesses are getting busy finding ways for efficient and cost-effective storage technologies and data management tools.
Going with the trend, companies which are finding it hard to manage are either outsourcing storage services or going for cloud storage options, which include disaster recovery and backup services. However, to go for any of the said options, its important to know that the cost of storage services is becoming less dependent on the overall cost of technology needed to store the data and more dependent on the skills and tools to manage it.
In coming days, enterprises will show more inclination towards self-management skills. One of the reasons for this shift will be continuing decline in costs for data storage. This can be due to several factors which includes declining costs of storage media, better management tools, which drive higher utilization of existing storage resources making remote storage management easier.
At the same time, interest in going for backup to disk solutions also reduces requirements for tape management and off-site storage. At the same time, object storage usage for managing unstructured data sets and a need for more elastic capacity will also drive companies go for cloud storage services.
Storage hardware and software have always been major variables affecting the price of outsourced storage services. New technologies which emerged over the last several years, including SSDs, software-defined storage, hyper convergence and automated tiering, though are driving higher performance and availability; they are also making storage and data management more complex.
On a parallel note, storage-service providers are experiencing increasing pressure to help manage data, which is an expectation that adds complexity to their role in the overall storage environment.
The year 2016, will witness changing storage strategies in data center environments of enterprises. SSD tier implementation in production storage environment will be witnessed on large scale. This is due to the fact that SSD tiers have the potential to improve performance for high end critical business applications and data requiring fast throughput. Other trend to witness will be disk usage in place of tape. Although, disc media is expensive than tape, it offers faster and more immediate access to data copies. Moreover, with data techniques like deduplication available, enterprises will get the privilege of using their storage resources to fluctuating performance needs in a more fully automated fashion.
Unified Storage has introduced simplified “single pane of glass” management capability for storage-area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS) in a single storage subsystem. Software-defined storage is also changing the landscape for how companies virtualize and store their data. These technologies provide new capabilities that allow more-automated storage management, but they do not resolve the overall planning and decision-making requirements for data management.
This year we will witness a stringent increase in data life cycle management, heightened country specific compliance regulations for data retention periods, increased demand for data retrievals related to e-discovery requests and other legal needs and greater use of end to end encryption. Final aim of each and every enterprise will be to balance the cost of storage with the demand for capacity and performance.
In order to achieve all the above said, companies should devise and stick to a data plan which not only helps them in managing data, but also helps in keeping up with performance and capacity requirements. Large unstructured data sets, for example, should be automatically tiered on the basis of data-usage patterns and performance requirements of the applications. The cost per gigabyte of tape archival storage is orders of magnitude lower than the cost of disk storage. Therefore, mapping the overall storage and data-usage patterns to business requirements for availability as well as the response and retrieval time requirements for data sets can significantly affect the overall cost for a storage service.
If the company decides to outsource archival services, then the architecture and design for the archive environment should remain with the business, not with the storage-service provider, as should the decision about when data is to be archived to lower-performance storage platforms.
Converged and hyper converged-infrastructure solutions designed with built-in automation can simplify the work of moving applications to the cloud by automating and consolidating management of storage, servers and networks. But since public-cloud providers charge for data egress, an organization moving data to or from the cloud needs to determine the usage patterns of a given application before it can accurately forecast its real cost of ownership and management.
If carefully employed, many of the said storage technologies can help organizations and storage service providers more efficiently manage and access their increasing data volumes.
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