More Data Doesn't Have to Mean Higher Costs

    December 28, 2016

    By Jeff Schultz

    Organizations are seeing continued increases in their need for data storage. Even though IT budgets aren’t expected to keep pace with this demand, an increase in data usage doesn’t require an increase in dollars spent.

    It’s no surprise to those who are paying attention in the IT space that demand for data storage is on the rise. Research from Red Hat Storage suggests that over the next three to five years, companies’ needs for data will increase by an average of 54%, and the survey also found that 94% of respondents were frustrated by their current storage solutions.

    IT budgets are expected to increase by only 13% to 14.5% within the same time frame, leaving little room to increase current storage capacity. Instead, IT departments will have to get creative by drafting improved storage plans when replacing older gear. Luckily, with advancements in technology and storage products becoming more affordable, upgrading your organization’s storage solution doesn’t have to break the bank.

    What Can the Cloud Offer?

    When searching for affordable solutions to storage constraints, the cloud should be the first idea that pops into your head. Research conducted in 2015 by 451 suggests that cloud computing as a service will grow threefold by 2019, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

    There are a number of advantages that come with the implementation of a hybrid cloud solution. First, there are OpEx-only models for cloud utilization that eliminate the need for additional expenditures, including the cost of purchasing new servers or expanding the square-footage of your data centers. With this off-site, hardware-free solution, companies also have the added security of avoiding loss due to fire, theft, and other disasters. Cloud solutions are also scalable, and therefore suitable for the evolving storage needs of a growing company.

    The advantages can be attractive, but it should be noted that some unresolved issues still exist; for instance, it can be difficult to move data between public and private cloud storage due to the low speed of WAN networks.

    Solid-State Drives and All-Flash Arrays

    The cloud isn’t your only option, however. As TechTarget notes, “We need to look at the bigger picture to create a storage capacity plan that includes data management and placement, and takes advantage of newer technologies such as all-flash arrays and data services software.”

    Solid-state drives are becoming increasingly affordable. While newer NVM Express products are expensive, SAS SSDs can be used for most server workloads, allowing companies to take their old disk arrays and use them as secondary cold storage for inactive data.

    All-flash arrays provide a tremendous increase in IOPS, or input/output operations per second. Utilizing internal data compression software allows these arrays to boost IOPS by the millions, reducing the required capacity for primary solid-state storage through the compression and deduplication of data. A reduction in the required capacity ultimately means a reduction in the cost of storage, which is why the technology is becoming more efficient and affordable.

    How to Assess Your Storage Needs

    All good storage capacity plans begin with a comprehensive understanding of exactly how much storage your organization will need — not just now, but in the future, as well. With data growth spiraling out of control, IT departments want to know that resources are being properly allocated to deal with current and future storage needs.

    Capacity planning software like TeamQuest’s Vityl Adviser can help businesses anticipate what IT resources are needed to meet the today’s demands. For future storage needs, the TeamQuest Predictor uses sophisticated algorithms to project future demand with 95% accuracy.

    As demand for storage continues to grow, companies must arm themselves with as many tools as possible to make informed decisions about what their business’ growth will mean for their future data storage needs. Creativity and an awareness of the solutions available to you will result in well-rounded and cost-effective storage capacity plans.

    Category: data-storage