By Allie Philpin
Interviews recently carried out by 451 Research’s ThelnfoPro service with IT and storage professionals within medium and large companies revealed that whilst budgets for storage were down, there is still the need to cope with the ever-increasing capacity issue and whilst flash storage is used by many, all-flash arrays are not. What their findings also revealed is that the use of cloud for storing data is still in its early stages; the interest is there in public and private clouds, but many organisations are not taking that step in adopting the cloud.
One of the biggest headaches for organisations is the rise in data and for storage professionals, it is the main concern as they try to adapt and deal with capacity growth that is happening quicker and quicker. In 2012 they managed 215TB primary storage; in 2013, this rose to £260TB; today, it’s more in the realms of 285TB. Constant expansion of capacity and upgrading or improving technology are daily occurrences for some, and this can be particularly challenging when migrating data on budgets that are being used more against overheads of operations than on actual storage. Ok, functions such as compression, data deduplication and thin provisioning are now common and help significantly, there is still the question of a software-defined data centre – would this provide a more manageable storage solution, cost effectively?
As storage becomes an increasing challenge, and organisations are searching for solutions that are effective yet affordable, flash storage takes its place as a key project for many companies with many favouring the ‘tier in a hybrid array’ option. A form of flash storage, all-flash arrays, is also becoming more and more popular with a rise in organisations planning to implement this technology over the next couple of years.
Whilst cloud storage is still being heavily discussed, the focus appears to be more on the private cloud, or on-premise cloud, as organisations look to control and oversee the storage of their data rather than trusting an outside provider. For the large organisation, and some medium-sized ones, who are often the ‘early adopters’ for cloud storage, they have the in-house skills and resources to be able to deploy this form of cloud storage. However, for smaller organisations there is the public cloud – it’s more cost-effective, it’s quick to deploy, it’s easy to synchronise and share files, etc., but there is still concern with security, accessibility and in some cases, data sovereignty.
The two key topics for storage are the software-defined data centre and a converged infrastructure; as yet, organisations are still a little sceptical about software-defined data centres but that may be due to a lack of understanding about this form of storage but as data management becomes more entrenched with storage, knowledge grows and so will adoption. However, when it comes to a converged infrastructure there are certain limitations within organisations that prohibit a higher level of take-up for this type of storage solution.
Implementing a storage solution to store your ever-increasing data alone is not going to be sufficient; organisations need to manage this data effectively, too, and as this becomes a recognised and necessary requirements, so will organisations look to find storage solutions that bring together these two elements.