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Drowning in data?

Justin Augat, vice president of product marketing at iland, discusses how to solve your data storage dilemmas with cloud object storage.

In a world that thrives on the consumption of data, it is not surprising that today we are witnessing tremendous data growth to the point that it is now in danger of overwhelming organisations. 

This is creating massive data sprawl whereby many organisations are experiencing a slowdown in operational productivity and efficiency and this sprawl is hampering future innovation and growth. 

In fact, according to analyst firm IDC, the digital universe is growing 50% a year, doubling in size every two years.

Likewise, IDC predicts that the amount of datasphere subject to data analysis will grow by a factor of 50 to 5.2ZB in 2025.  The amount of analysed data that is touched by cognitive systems will grow by a factor of 100 to 1.4ZB in 2025. 

But we can’t just simply dismiss this data as insignificant and archivable without the need to quickly access it, because analysts are predicting that by 2025, 20% of the data in the global datasphere will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical.

That’s a lot of data that needs storing.  So, how do organisations go about cost effectively managing this huge upsurge?

Having the ability to store limitless quantities of data

Cloud object storage is one way that this can be achieved. With cloud object storage organisations can store practically limitless amounts of data.

Likewise, it also helps organisations to break down all the various data silos by providing massively scalable cost-effective storage that can easily store and manage any type of data.

This is important because as businesses grow there is a need for them to manage rapidly expanding but often isolated pools of data which are used by a multitude of applications and business processes. 

Other reasons why object storage is considered a good fit for the cloud is because it is elastic, flexible and can easily scale into multiple petabytes to support unlimited data growth. Organisations need to get a handle on this because multi-faceted storage portfolios can add unnecessary complexity and as mentioned earlier, slow down innovation.  

Historically, organisations created complete and isolated networking environments which neither scaled nor allowed adequate access to the data. 

These environments were cumbersome and hugely expensive. Conversely, cloud object storage allows organisations to give structure to unstructured file data, making it easier to protect, store, manage, search, sync and share.

Overcoming cost and performance challenges

In effect, choosing cloud object storage allows organisations to overcome both cost and performance challenges and it can be deployed to either replace existing storage solutions or be used for net new greenfield requirements.  

That said, tape solutions are still being used by many organisations, and not only are they costly but are also considered outdated and unreliable solutions.

Without the proper testing tapes can be difficult to restore data from when it is time to retrieve information quickly.

Additionally, tape storage can be difficult to manage with a large number of tapes, while also having the confidence that the right tape, with the right data on it can be recovered as and when it is needed. 

Data that isn’t searchable is fast becoming a tangible liability for businesses, and one that will only become larger with advances in AI and machine learning.

In short, cloud object storage provides cost-effective safe storage for large volumes of data and the ability to archive large amounts of data much more efficiently and securely for almost infinite periods of time. 

Additionally, cloud object storage provides IT infrastructure cost reductions and IT staff productivity gains as organisations find that they require substantially less staff time and resources to manage this environment. 

The business and user productivity gains are well recognised with IDC predicting that organisations who use cloud object-based storage will recognise additional revenue worth an average of $102,000 per petabyte per year.  

Real time search and retrieval brings significant value

Cloud object storage won’t be for everyone, I am sure some organisations will continue to hang onto their tapes, but beyond cost, object storage also offers the advantages of rapid search and real-time access for data monetisation.

The ability to instantly search on specific attributes – such as date, data type, contents, or description – and then instantly retrieve assets has the potential to significantly increase the value of data.

In the near future, this value will rapidly increase as technologies such as artificial intelligence create new options to analyse data, scanning images and audio for specific attributes.

Tools will enable analysis such as facial recognition, speech recognition, and action analysis, creating new avenues for re-purposing and monetising stored media.

With these capabilities, archives become an asset that continuously contributes to the bottom line, rather than simply consuming overhead. 

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