3 ways to extract more value from storage workloads

 In Cloud, Hardware, Hybrid, Storage

Your data is one of your most valuable assets.

But until recently, a lot of organizations weren’t treating it that way.

Now advanced technology is making it easier to place value in your data and storage workloads, despite limited budgets and the mind-boggling pace of data growth.

These trends and possibilities are set out in a new IDC Market Spotlight: “Advanced Infrastructure Technology Redefines the Value of Storage Workloads.” If you’re considering deploying a new storage solution, this should be required reading. It covers the objectives and strategies you should keep in mind as you weigh the options that will help you extract the most value from your data.

Here are three high-level takeaways from the report about optimizing your data workloads.

The costs and capabilities of storage are transforming

Primary storage workloads — the mission-critical ones — and secondary storage workloads — backup, disaster recovery, archive, and other data sets — traditionally could not be run on the same platform.

All-flash arrays (AFAs), software-defined storage (SDS), and cloud infrastructure are changing that. The expected growth of each between 2017 and 2022 speaks volumes about the direction many organizations are taking:

  • Cloud infrastructure for storage workloads is expected to grow 34%
  • Adoption of AFAs is expected to grow 17.6%
  • SDS is expected to grow 14.7%

Each potentially has a role within an organization, but cloud infrastructure is growing at nearly twice the rate of AFAs and SDS in large part because it allows organizations to switch from capital expenditures to operational expenditures. Organizations can eliminate infrastructure that they previously had to manage and maintain, while gaining new efficiencies.

In IDC’s 2018 CloudView Survey, 57% of respondents said the cloud partially or significantly exceeded their expectations in helping them grow revenue or expand into new markets, cut costs and increase efficiency, and drive innovation or digital transformation.

Anticipate a cultural change in addition to the technology change

IT staff has traditionally been siloed. Organizations had storage staff, networking staff, server staff, and so on. But the integration of new storage technology, especially cloud technology, creates different demands.

Organizations need someone who understands the cloud and the convergence of technology in support of the business far more than they need someone who understands how to manage storage, networking, and servers.

These individuals will have experience in all those areas, but will also elevate the role. They’re being tasked with managing relationships with service provider partners and creating value from data workloads rather than simply managing and troubleshooting them.

That places new demands on IT managers and administrators that will have to be addressed to successfully adopt complex infrastructure technology.

Keeping an eye on security

Data and security go hand in hand. As you adopt hybrid cloud for storage workloads, never lose sight of security by keeping two considerations in mind:

  1. New infrastructure solutions must not compromise digital trust or resiliency.
  2. Infrastructure and storage decisions must adhere to modern security and compliance requirements.

Both are easier said than done, as different groups within an organization focus more on their business objectives than the security implications of what they want to accomplish. It becomes IT’s responsibility to ensure every initiative includes security from the strategy to the design to the deployment of the solution.

In the end, you might store some data in the cloud to reduce costs, while other data has to remain on premises for security and compliance reasons. Despite some complexity, modernizing and consolidating your data and storage workloads using a hybrid model will bring visibility to those workloads and ultimately increase their value to your organization.

Taking your storage workloads to the next level

For any organization rethinking its data strategy, transformational new technologies are now available to help you on that journey. For far too long, the value of data has gone unmined, but the advent of AFA, SDS, and cloud infrastructure has opened new possibilities for value creation.

Read the entire IDC report for more on the key trends, considerations, and benefits of these new storage technologies, and if you want to learn more about data protection workloads in the hybrid cloud, click here.

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