Storage is the carrier of data.
And with the amount of data that an enterprise has to store and manage increasing at an alarming rate, businesses need to come up with more cost-effective, secure and reliable ways to extract valuable information from the data.
This is the word from Yitao Lee, Huawei storage marketing director, who asserts that by analysing operating data in a faster and more economical manner, organisations will boost decision-making efficiency. "Data is difficult to manage, new applications take a long time to deploy, and storage capacity is difficult and expensive to expand. The future IT system must eliminate these data silos so that storage performance and capacity are flexibly allocated and storage media types match the information's value."
According to Lee, while businesses want to store more data in order to obtain valuable insights, the cost of storing this information increases as the data amount grows. To tackle this dilemma, Lee has three suggestions. Firstly, he advises that businesses select storage with tiering functionality, which will allow them to match storage media types with data value. He also suggests that businesses use deduplication to reduce repeated data storage. Finally, Lee notes that organisations should be looking to transfer some of their low-value data and backup data to the public cloud, which will reduce total cost of ownership.
In addition to this, Lee highlights solid state drives (SSD) as a less expensive and more stable storage option for businesses, particularly as an increasing number of vendors provide all-flash arrays and SSD-related technologies become more mature. "As more customers choose all-flash arrays, the price of SSD decreases. The joint force of technical improvement and market recognition will keep driving SSD development," he says, adding that SSD will become a widely accepted deployment mode.
He also cites cloud, be it public or private, as a trend to watch.
"Currently, moving backup and archived data into the cloud is an economical option," he states, continuing that he expects that more customers will favour this option in 2014. "If the data security and service level of the public cloud can become more reliable, enterprises will migrate more production data to the cloud." He advises organisations to consider building a hybrid cloud; using core systems to build the private cloud and backup and archive systems to build the public cloud.
With this said, Lee asserts that tradition cannot be disrupted overnight. "It takes time for the market to accept innovative technologies, especially when customers need time to verify reliability after migrating core applications to the cloud." According to Gartner's latest storage market report, the storage market grew stably in 2013 and the storage of the future will be more hybrid – with a mix of cloud and traditional IT systems.
When looking to boost your storage solutions, Lee believes organisations should look to construct a data-centric storage system that will reinforce the overall design of storage, describing storage as the "digital heart" of the IT system. He points out that businesses should avoid resource waste and repeated investments. "You must build converged and unified architecture to resolve problems once and for all."