By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Arcserve
Today, data is the new gold. Every IT pro understands this. Your organization is probably generating oceans of data as you take advantage of new technologies that the cloud, IoT, edge computing, and other innovations offer. And there is no doubt you are under incredible pressure to store, manage, and protect your data because it is crucial to your business. What’s needed are new approaches to storage that transform your operations and help you thrive in the digital economy.
IDC says that in 2020, 64.2 zettabytes of data were created or replicated worldwide. By 2025 that number is projected to exceed 180 zettabytes. With so much more data generated, you may be in the same position as many other companies—forced into urgently updating your storage strategy to meet demand. But it’s not just about having enough storage space. Ransomware threats continue to grow. Two-thirds of IT pros surveyed for Sophos State of Ransomware Report say their organization was hit by ransomware in 2021—while hybrid and remote workforces demand that your data is always secure and accessible.
Focus Your Storage Strategy on Data
Not all data is equally valuable. Some is business-critical, while most is less important. Your first step is to identify the data critical to your success so you can factor that in as you develop your storage strategy. But having so much data requires careful, comprehensive management, or you could end up with critical data stored on less critical servers. That can create huge problems because it takes longer to access slower, secondary machines. That can slow down your access to the data and limit its value in driving your business forward.
Here's the core issue: Most organizations take a server-based approach to their data backup and recovery deployments. They focus on backing up their most critical machines—not their most essential data. That needs to change. Instead, it would be best to base your backup and recovery policies on matching your critical servers to your business-critical data. In other words, when it comes to backups, your decisions should be driven by your data’s value, not your server hierarchy.
More Storage, Better Value
All this generated data begs the question: where is it all being stored? Traditional storage isn’t typically up to the task because disk drives are reliable but slow and limit your agility. With data needed instantly to keep business moving, you also need high-performance storage. Flash storage is one high-performance storage solution. But while flash is fast, it’s also costly. That puts it out of reach of many businesses.
As the cost of flash storage drops, we’ll see more storage vendors introduce all-flash arrays for mid-market customers. That increased affordability will lead more and more businesses to choose flash technology.
Scale-Out Storage: Efficiency with Data Protection
Traditional storage offers limited flexibility as you need more space for your data. Adding hardware is expensive, and managing storage is time-consuming. And because conventional storage often doesn’t include deduplication and compression, your data isn’t stored efficiently. Migrating your data when it’s time to upgrade is one big challenge, while adding backup and disaster recovery capabilities is another.
That’s why more businesses are adopting scale-out storage solutions. Scale-out storage eliminates traditional storage problems, delivering network-attached storage (NAS) that lets you add more drives to individual storage clusters—and more clusters—when you need to, with ease. Scale-out storage also includes data deduplication and compression, simple to use remote management, and built-in backup and disaster recovery (DR) options. Scale-out does more than give you another storage choice—it gives you a better way to manage, protect, and recover your data. That can save IT time, increase operational efficiency, and reduce downtime.
So much data has forced businesses to choose between moving data to the cloud, using a third-party storage provider, or upgrading their existing infrastructure. But depending on your requirements, scale-out storage may be your best choice. It can future-proof your infrastructure, and instead of having storage scattered across locations and hardware, scale-out storage lets you treat all your storage as a global pool. When it’s time to upgrade, you just add more nodes or clusters.
With a centralized data infrastructure, your business can become more efficient with uniform policies and improved backup and recovery capabilities.
Heading Off Hackers With Immutable Storage
More storage and more data mean more risks from cyberattacks. Ransomware isn’t going away anytime soon, and hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and employing more targeted attacks. Hackers are now setting their sights on backups because they recognize that your backup data is your last line of defense. If your primary and backup data is encrypted by ransomware, you’ll face many massive problems.
That’s why immutable backup storage and continuous data protection must be part of your DR plan. With continuous data protection, immutable snapshots of your data are taken frequently—every 90 seconds, for example. Because the object store is immutable, even if ransomware does make its way into your systems, your backup can’t be altered or deleted. It will always be available, even if it includes hundreds of terabytes of data.
Storage Goes Green
You’d have to live in a cave to be unaware of the need for more sustainable solutions. Global data centers consume massive amounts of energy. That needs to be a key consideration in any data management strategy because data centers now use about three percent of the world’s electricity supply—and put out two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That puts data centers on par with the entire airline industry.
Your company may already be developing supply-chain strategies to reduce your carbon footprint. And storage solutions are increasingly part of the conversation, as environmental considerations are weighed against power consumption costs and performance requirements.
Your data will continue to be one of your most precious assets, and it will continue to increase in volume and value. You can get more from the data you create and store by leveraging the latest technology and adopting a modern approach to data storage. The results? Reduced energy consumption, increased efficiency, tighter security, and the ability to thrive in today’s digital economy.
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