We live in an information age where data continues to grow rapidly. For businesses and their IT departments, this means determining how increasing amounts and different types of data should be stored and managed.
According to research firm IDC, by 2020, the total amount of information around the world is expected to reach 35,000 exabytes. To put this into perspective, one exabyte is equal to a little more than 1 billion gigabytes. This is a significant increase from 2008, when the total was estimated at 180 exabytes. With no signs of data growth slowing down, every business, regardless of size, must have some form of data storage management in place so machines and IT staff are not bogged down.
Businesses understand the importance of storage and the role it plays within their organizations. As testament to this, a 2016 CDW Canada survey found that 40 per cent of Canadian organizations indicated storage as a technology priority for this year.
Utilizing effective storage management solutions can transform IT environments by providing flexibility and simplifying data storage systems. Additional benefits of data storage management solutions include improving overall efficiencies, freeing up IT resources, and achieving greater scalability for future growth and flexibility.
To help keep pace with and better manage growing data, there are a variety of different storage management solutions available in the market today. Here are a few to consider:
Storage Area Networks (SANs)
SANs are high-speed networks of storage devices which connect to servers. These devices house data to maximize the performance of servers and applications. SANs can be connected through a fiber or iSCSI interface. SANs can also be used for backup and disaster recovery purposes.
Storage Management Software
Data storage management software provides a central point of management for data and data storage systems. Software can also be used to help reduce the complexity of multiple data storage systems by automating data storage and availability across the network.
Data archiving software automates the flow of data through various levels of storage during the data’s lifecycle. This software can also delete a file at the end of its retention period to help free up space. Data archiving software also provides single-instance storage for each file for more effective processing power for backup and storage systems.
In some businesses, the same data may be saved in several different locations and by different users. Data deduplication can provide organizations with significant cost savings because it reduces redundant data that might be stored multiple times on multiple devices. Businesses that invest in deduplication will require less physical storage space within their data centres, which also means additional savings for heating, cooling and powering the spaces. Freeing up space and redundancies also allows organizations to make better use of their existing storage systems and helps save time for IT staff to manage and maintain them.
Data Storage Virtualization
Data storage virtualization takes multiple data storage systems and makes them appear as a single storage unit. This is often used in conjunction with SANs to provide a single virtual data storage device.