Efficient and Cost Effective Storage/Data Management

Data-Puzzel-AdobeStock_89601860-EDITYour enterprise accumulates data faster than Santa’s bag fills with toys in preparation for Christmas Eve. Santa knows how to access these gifts and how to best manage them; can you say the same for your data in storage? Here are 4 Steps to consider ensuring efficiency and cost effectivity for your enterprise’s Storage and Data Management.

1. Tiering

Flash Storage is hotter than Santa’s Sleigh travelling at the speed of light on Christmas Eve night! If you have not made the investment in an all flash array or SSD’s in your existing storage solution, you should start here. If you have made the investments, continue to optimize the rest of the storage environment by augmenting with slower 10k SAS and 7.2k NL-SAS. On average, you will find that 60% of your data is cold, 30% is actively used and the really active data rounds out the last 10% and sits on flash. Your data access patterns are probably shaped like a candy cane or an upside down hockey stick, if you are a big winter sports fan.

2. Archive

Tiering is a great start given the fact that no one deletes much of anything these days because storage is “cheap.” Or maybe your enterprise is bound to regulatory/compliance rules that mandate storing of data. Cloud has become an effective way to store long-term archive data that you rarely access.  It is important to consider how often you access the data in the cloud as not all cloud archive services become cost effective, nor are they charging clients in a similar fashion. Make sure you shop around and find the best deal for your enterprise. If cloud storage is not an option, good old fashioned Tape is still being used, believe it or not, and is cost effective. Linear Tape Open (LTO) standards now allow for filesystems to be written to tapes, thus you can create a tape archive and have up to 15TB stored for a few cents a GB. A good strategy if you are handling hundreds of TB or petabytes of data. IBM is now giving away Long Term File System (LTFS) Library Edition for FREE! Yes Free. If you have an IBM Tape library, you should really investigate this as an option.

3. Planning for Capacity & Performance Management

Just stop, please stop managing your storage environment on a spreadsheet. It’s 2015, software can help you do this job much more efficiently than a spreadsheet. There are some great free options on the market, for example, Stor2RRD. It will give you all of the general performance stats that a Full Time Equivalant (FTE) needs to know about, while keeping IT management abreast of performance. If you have a little money to spend in this area, then look at options from Solarwinds and IBM. IBM has a SaaS based offering called Storage Insights. You can try it free for 30 days and then be billed on a monthly basis after that. If you are not pre-disposed to use cloud-based applications, then consider purchasing IBM TPC version 5.2.x. The solution is incredibly easy to use and deploy with 30 pre-built reports, based on most common data requested from IT and line of business. For example, how much storage does marketing own on these two hosts? IBM TPC can tell you with just a few clicks.

4. Utilize Storage Optimization Features (Compression, Thin provisioning, etc.)

If you have invested in a storage solution in the last 4 years, chances are you have this capability on your existing storage array, but are you using it? Data from major storage vendors, analysts and personal client experiences suggest that 65% of enterprises are, that means 35% of you are not using this capability. That needs to change in 2016, be bold. If for no other reason than it’s a new year and you have some license to be resolute in the new year.

Having an Adaptable approach to Enterprise Storage data management is so critical in developing competitive business advantage. Business is moving faster and getting faster. You do not want to be slowed down by your storage strategy. CMI has helped clients develop strategic storage roadmaps that deliver results. Challenge us with your Storage/Data management needs in the new year.

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