The Evolution of Data Storage & Data Management Technologies

lclarke February 5, 2010 0

The Evolution of Data Storage & Data Management Technologies

Storage against the machine. Under ordinary circumstances, describing any technology as being in flux would be a lot like nodding sagely and saying: “That William Shakespeare bloke – hell of a writer apparently.” Well der. No **** Shylock. But when a technology that has remained essentially unchanged for decades begins metamorphosing before the market’s very eyes, it’s surely a case for comment. So it is in data storage and data management right now – disciplines that, from consolidation and virtualisation to cloud computing, have seen greater change in the last five years than in perhaps its previous 50. Make no mistake, these great cornerstones of modern-day computing are shifting in their very foundations.

But why such a massive change in storage? And why now?

Last year IDC reckoned that the known “digital universe” had, by 2007, grown to 281 billion gigabytes. Consider that it’s widely predicted to reach 10 times that size by 2011, and you have one answer: the continuing explosion in the growth of digital information. Consider also that the operational, logistical, and legal demands being placed on data retention, availability and secure storage are now more onerous than ever before, and you have another. Then factor in the myriad financial constraints being placed on firms by the economic downturn (on the back of a decade of almost reckless, arbitrary storage consumption), and the move to innovate better, smarter, lower-cost storage and security technologies makes even more sense. As we’ve often pointed out here on iq.insight.com, necessity was ever the mother of invention.

“Last year IDC reckoned that the known “digital universe” had, by 2007, grown to 281 billion gigabytes. Consider that it’s widely predicted to reach 10 times that size by 2011…”

Put simply, the laissez faire, “keep everything” approaches to storage and data management that saw capacities doubling year-on-year during the good times had to be quickly curbed as we hit the bad. Such an unautocratic approach simply wouldn’t do for a truly secure storage infrastructure and efficient data management system.

The answer?

A return to scrutiny of the days when data storage was too expensive to approach at all lackadaisically. Now more than ever in storage, it’s not what you, do it’s the way that you do it.

6 degrees of segregation

Gone are the days when “proper” data storage was the preserve of enterprise businesses; today, every organisation needs big, fast, easy to use, secure storage capacity that doesn’t require a PhD to deploy and manage. But what, dear iQ Insight readers, characterises the ideal smaller business storage platform?

Support for multiple operating systems and communications media to give users and management an assured, secure path to data whatever they’re using, wherever they are.

Security – An insecure data storage infrastructure is a useless storage infrastructure. Look for strong reliability, data protection, and off-site back-up capabilities; built in fail-over and power redundancy for the most favorable storage and security capability.

Capacity and scalability – With files sizes and the use of storage-hungry multimedia data such as video, audio and images exploding, capacity, upgradeability, and scalability are vital factors in storage and security

Accessibility – Fast, easy data access is increasingly business-critical operationally, financially and legally in data management.

Density, performance, compatibility, value – Density is nothing without speed and performance; speed and performance are nothing without compatibility; and none of them are anything without value. Today’s midrange data storage solutions must deliver on all counts to optimize data management efforts.

Future proofing & investment protection – Short-term storage and security solutions must deliver long-term answers: upgrade paths, easy-to follow technology roadmaps, smooth future integration. Look for topologies, technologies and brands with longevity for optimum secure storage capacity.

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