The Internet of Things (IoT) era, with its sharp increase in data volumes, has made it crucial for regional organizations to rethink their data storage solution selection processes or risk information mismanagement, says IT consultancy Condo Protego.
According to a 2015 report released by the consultancy Deloitte, IoT developments in the Middle East are expected to grow at 50-60 percent per annum in associated IoT services, compared to the global growth rate of 40-50 percent, driving data center traffic into the hundreds of billions of gigabytes over the next three years.
“Exponential regional data growth – across businesses of all sizes and industry verticals – is inevitable, but an effective ‘tiered-storage’ approach can help organizations make the most of this information, maximizing organizational performance while driving down costs,” says Savitha Bhaskar, COO of Condo Protego.
“Even smaller regional businesses have started to identify new and varied data storage solutions to keep up with, and effectively manage, the vast amounts of data, and there is a wide range of solutions available in the market to suit different performance and cost ratio requirements. Thinking in terms of ‘tiered storage’ is not only for the very big organizations now.”
Further adding to the data explosion in the region is the growing recognition by businesses of the importance of customer data analysis, the growing rate of cyber threats requiring space-consuming protection solutions, new software applications and operating systems, and the need for remote accessibility to large media files.
In selecting an appropriate data storage solution, Condo Protego advises that the first step is to assess the actual storage needs of a company by classifying data according to criticality, reviewing application data size, and determining required application performance and IO speed for data access.
Business owners are then advised to seek professional guidance from a trusted data and storage consultant, who will assess the risks and benefits of the different data storage solutions available, and collectively make a decision on the solution that will best fit the business objectives.
A wide range of data storage solutions is available in the market, ranging from the now standard SAN/NAS consolidated storage, to ‘high-performance computing’ capable all-flash storage, and the increasingly accessible and cost efficient cloud storage solutions.
The best storage solutions are often a combination of the above solutions, either within a single system or across multiple systems tiered to suit different workloads. Skilled consultants can help classify customer workloads and identify the most effective form of data storage for an organization’s specific business needs.
Accordingly, the most critical data, such as an organization’s ERP system which runs its core business processes, is given the highest priority and biggest storage budget allocations. Secondary data, such as archival or back-up data should be given lower budget allocations, while unstructured ‘big data’ is more suited to run on a separate and even less expensive storage solution with scale-out capabilities to seamlessly accommodate data growth.
“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” says Bhaskar. “Each storage system comes with a unique set of benefits and risks, and there are many important factors to take into consideration before investing in any solution.”
“By working with consultants to ensure that a business adopts the most effective solution, CIOs can help decision makers tap into critical business insights, transforming IT from what was traditionally perceived as a cost-center, into a valuable business enabler,” concludes Bhaskar.