Meet Your Increasing Needs for Data Storage
“Ah, so much data, and so little time.” If you find yourself talking or thinking along these lines, you’re not alone. The amount of data companies generate and retain is growing significantly, if not exponentially. This has companies constantly searching for a better way to meet their increasing needs for a data storage platform.
But “better” doesn’t simply mean buying and deploying more capacity. That would just compound the problem, increasing costs, and making data storage harder to manage than it already is. Instead, companies want solutions that simplify and streamline storage management around the best-practice principles of security, scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. In other words, these days storage administrators, at least the savvy ones, pretty much want it all.
At Veristor, we’re typically reluctant to say that any one technology can meet allof your needs. The IT environment is too complex and varied a place for that, and data storage is no exception. But the latest hybrid cloud storage platforms offer a promising new approach that gives storage professionals a number of new capabilities that come pretty close to offering everything they could want.
To illustrate the advantages of hybrid cloud storage in your daily operations, let’s briefly look at three key areas of functionality: data tiering, resource allocation, and backup/disaster recovery (DR).
But First, Unified vs Hybrid Cloud Storage: What’s the Diff?
In a recent blog, we discussed several advantages to unified storage. Because hybrid cloud storage bears some resemblance to unified storage, a quick comparison of the two is in order. First and foremost, hybrid cloud storage differs from unified storage by integrating a mix of on-premises hardware arrays and cloud storage. Whether the cloud component is public, such as S3, or private, such as Cloudian, SwiftStack, or other solutions, it satisfies the technical definition of hybrid. Unified storage brings multiple storage types and protocols together, but typically within the walls of the data center. Additionally, while both unified storage and hybrid cloud storage allow you to manage block and file data from a single platform, hybrid cloud storage adds object-based storage to the mix.
See how significant data backup is and what a dedicated partner can and should do to prevent any issues from occurring.
And now, on to the three areas of functionality.
1. Smarter Data Tiering
Not all data sets are created equal; nor does a given piece of data retain the same value throughout its entire lifecycle. That’s why it’s so important that data can be assigned to the right storage tier, and easily moved between storage types as needed. With a hybrid cloud storage strategy, a storage administrator can choose the best storage type for data sets based on a number of factors – what type of data it is, when it was created, or when it was last modified, for example. While tiering data around these characteristics is nothing new, the ability to view and manage on-premises and cloud storage as a single, unified pool is unique to the hybrid model. This gives storage administrators a powerful tool to help manage data more efficiently, making it fast and easy to “cloud out” cold data or move performance-intensive data sets from the cloud to the highest tier of on-premises storage.
Best of all, many of today’s hybrid cloud storage platforms offer intelligent tiering features that automate data movement across public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises storage. This further reduces the time it takes storage administrators to manage storage and keep data in its proper place.
2. Better Resource Utilization
One of the things we’re seeing among our clients is an increased desire to scale resources up and down on demand to handle variable and unpredictable data needs. In the absence of this ability, administrators will often over-provision their storage, essentially using capital funds to buy and keep extra storage units at the ready – just in case. The flaw in this approach is multifaceted: this hardware is expensive and the more you have, the more time it takes to manage.
3. Integrated Backup and DR
Despite the great advances in cybersecurity for the cloud, we’ve found that many people remain somewhat skittish about trusting their mission-critical or most sensitive information to a cloud-only environment. In addition, most of the organizations we work with are in the habit of making business continuity a top priority. They want a storage solution that works well with their backup and DR strategies to help minimize productivity loss when a natural or man-made disaster strikes.
A Data Center Built for Change
Hybrid cloud storage provides IT professionals with an easily managed, highly scalable, cost-efficient, and secure storage platform, giving them the opportunity to choose the most efficient medium to store individual sets of data, and adapt it as needed. With it, the data center becomes more agile, more productive, and better suited to match the ever-changing needs of the business. Best of all, perhaps,IT will be able to spend less time reacting to changes in storage needs and more time adding measureable value to the organization.