With an increasing number of smart devices in use, the Internet of Things (IoT) is producing an exponentially larger data stream every year. To remain competitive, businesses must tap into this wealth of information among various platforms, but a lack of data storage quickly makes this problematic. To keep up, businesses must adopt new storage solutions to keep up with these vast streams of data.
Data storage is one of the top five issues big businesses face with data collection; it matters where and how you store it.
Organize the Data
Many companies do not start out with a clear sense of data organization. As the influx of new information grows, the task grows increasingly daunting. The trouble is, a large percentage of any company’s stored data is not worth the storage space it requires; in fact, some experts estimate data storage needs to be around the 50 percent mark.
There is a $4 to $100 range in the cost of one gigabyte of storage over the course of its lifespan. To maintain efficient and cost-effective storage, the first step for any business is to clean house by getting rid of any data that’s not worth the money needed to store it. Next, organize the data you do need, keeping accessibility and security in mind during the process. Understanding how the information will be used can guide you throughout the reorganization.
Just like the boxes you label during a move, properly tag your data. Once this is done, data sets are more easily organized into appropriate storage methods. To maintain such large quantities of data and remain competitive, companies are increasingly moving toward multi-tier storage.
Put Hot Data in the Cloud
The cloud is scalable in a way that hardware simply is not. As a result, many companies are choosing to migrate their storage solutions upward. Most companies can’t predict their storage needs for five or 10 years down the road, so the cloud allows for a wide range of growth without the need for more on-site equipment. This solution is great for information that needs to be readily accessible and delivered quickly. However, it is not necessarily the solution for every company’s data storage needs.
Divide Data into a Hybrid Cloud
The hybrid cloud solution is a combination of two storage methods. Some data is stored in the cloud, and some is contained within on-site hardware. This appeals to companies that need accessibility without latency in some cases, but great security in others. The fear of keeping sensitive data in the cloud is removed, but the cloud side retains scalability.
The modern age of data analytics makes this solution even more appealing. Companies performing complex high-performance computing tasks are not yet served well by the cloud. These practices require physical processors and storage solutions to support the algorithmic analytics of Big Data. Virtualization has not yet arrived in a place to support such tasks with consistent reliability.
By employing a hybrid, data can be divided to get the best of both worlds: quick data in one place and secure and complex data in another.
Place Data in Cold Storage
Data that doesn’t need to be accessed can be shelved easily with cold storage. Cold storage is the most economical form of data holding because of the slow-moving inexpensive disks involved. Obviously, it would be impossible for a company to function with all of their information stored in this way, but for data that won’t be accessed often or at all, it’s the most economical solution. Backlogs of old information can be cheaply placed in cold storage, which frees up space for data that needs to retain its speed and accessibility.
Watch the Growing Middle Ground
Intelligent Software Designed Storage (I-SDS) and flash data storage are two outlying options in the enterprise market. Flash does not presently have the capacity to support the data and processing needs of a large business. However, recent developments by Pure Storage have proven it may be possible to scale up data sufficiently. I don’t think we will know for sure until next year how successful this tactic is or how widely adopted it will become—but I’m hopeful.
I-SDS makes software solutions out of hardware problems. Rather than using hardware stacks, a sleeker infrastructure comes into play. Automated and intelligent software manages the data, and though it is not as fast as the cloud, it does expedite processing beyond the capabilities of hardware.
Tailor Your Storage Approach
Each organization’s needs are different. Most have varying kinds of data that require different forms of storage and processing to maximize productivity. Companies can no longer choose simply one storage method – Big Data has grown, well, too big. Landing behind the curve in storage can cut a business off from the benefits of this ever-expanding breadth of data.
To remain ahead of the curve and run smoothly, businesses should tailor storage solutions to their company and its varying needs. One-size-fits-all doesn’t cut it when it comes to solutions for data storage. Streamline your process by actively organizing data, putting away what you don’t need, and making sure the data you do need can be in your hands quickly.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.