Home | Blog| Apr 15th - 5 Tips for Improving Your Improving Your Data Storage Strategy

Apr 15th - 5 Tips for Improving Your Improving Your Data Storage Strategy

Data storage is a crucial aspect of most businesses and that’s likely never going to change, however, one thing that is constantly subject to change is the way data is handled. The industry is constantly evolving as our data continues to grow exponentially in sheer volume and sophistication. According to The International Data Corporation (IDC), now more than 90% of the world's data is unstructured. This means we're moving from terabytes to petabytes to exabytes levels of data and higher. In 2012, the global amount of data reached roughly 2.7 zettabytes. IDC predicts that number will double by 2015 and will continue to double every two years after that and IT managers and data center operators will have to adapt to this growing industry as this trend continues.

While cost and redundancy are often some of the first things that come to mind when one ponders the prospect of improving their storage strategy, there are many more equally important aspects to consider. Here we’ve compiled a very short and sweet list of tips for improving your storage in the coming year.

1. Tiering Is Key – Without some form of data tiering, your data will eventually become unmanageable. Additionally, when your servers are processing large blocks of information without any structure, the load on the CPU is much greater than it would be with some form of structure. With these 2 things in mind, it’s important to remember not to get sloppy with your tiering. Consider implementing a multi-tier approach to make your data more efficient.

2. Tactical Flash Storage – Flash-based storage has been hyped as the way of the future for storage and with good reason too. Flash is much quicker and more durable than typical lower-cost SATA drive storage however, it simply isn’t practical to convert to 100% flash. Not only are SATA drives still being advanced technologically by the industry, but considering the sheer bulk of static data that datacenters contain, the costs would be astronomical for fairly marginal performance gains. Rather, flash is very efficient for data intake and exchange, whereas SATA drives are good for storing massive amount

3. Backup Your Backup Data – This one may seem like overkill, but the harsh reality is that you can never be too prepared. Backups do go down, and you want to be ready to get back up and running as soon as possible. Mike Karp, an analyst with Ptak Associates, strongly advises that data center operators, “Keep copies of [their] most recent backups on-premise,” because having physical copies of the most recent backups on hand means you can recover the files much faster over LANs than possible over the cloud.

4. Tape Is Ideal For Long-Term Storage – The need for data storage space is becoming so enormous that even while SATA drives have become significantly cheaper over the years and continue to drop, tape drives are still very much a crucial part of the storage landscape. Like SATA drives, tape has seen many technological advancements and can still be afforded at a much lower premium than SATA drives. For many cases of long-term data storage, tape is often still the most economical path.

5. Use Servers For Storage And Processing – It used to be that storage arrays were necessary for data centers to handle the sheer volumes of storage that they consumed, however now that servers have evolved in these more modern times, the storage array may not be so necessary. With servers being much more powerful and having storage capabilities than match many storage-only based rigs, we’re seeing more and more data centers implementing rack cabinets full of Server-SAN or a hyper-converged Virtual SAN solutions.