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Simplify Data Management with Scale-out Storage

by Ben Myren, on Jan 15, 2015 9:35:53 AM

Why has storage become such a pressing issue for companies of all sizes in almost every industry? The answer lies in rising data loads, and it doesn’t take a data scientist to know that growing data goes hand-in-hand with data center expansion. Thankfully, new storage innovations have been rolled out to simplify the storage, management, and processing of data – and to reduce up-front costs.

High density drives (HDDs), flash memory, and cloud storage alone are changing the storage landscape, resulting in higher density storage, lower power consumption, and lower total cost of ownership. Newer storage systems pack these three new tech innovations into one architecture, which helps companies address age-old storage issues – all while keeping an eye on the future.

One of the concerns that new storage systems are helping businesses address is a lack of adaptability and flexibility. Traditionally, IT departments have been forced to estimate the amount of data growth that they would likely need for the year ahead. Companies would then have to purchase and maintain that new, bulky equipment – all while waiting for data to fill the allotted storage space.

The risk that goes along with this “thick” provisioning is in the estimations. Between recessions, natural disasters, and – conversely – major booms in business, unpredictable factors lead to ever-evolving storage needs. In a way, every company that relies on thick provisioning storage strategies is taking a gamble.

On the contrary, new scale-out storage systems utilize “thin” provisioning, a technology that allows companies to get a higher utilization out of storage disks. This essentially means that companies gain more efficient, consolidated storage infrastructures that are optimized to flexibly meet storage demands. Instead of buying more hardware to support growing data demands, companies can minimize the amount of new equipment purchases they have to make by using all of their storage space in a smarter way.

These storage systems also offer flexible upgrades with a large family of systems to choose from. Before, companies were often pigeon-holed into purchasing systems of limited size and capacity. An SMB, for instance, might find a 300 TB capacity machine to be an adequate addition to their storage environment, but if those needs grew in the span of a few years or even a few months, they would be forced to purchase multiple machines of that same 300 TB size.

Scale-out storage, on the other hand, offers a large variety of hardware to choose from, so companies can buy the equipment that best matches their data growth needs. (The IBM Storwize family, for example, has eight storage options that range from 300 TBs to around 3,000 TBs). This means that the business will have a storage system with the ability to adapt to changing needs.

Overall, the storage landscape is changing and companies that take advantage of new technologies will be able to better manage data, reduce risks and minimize IT purchases.

Want to learn more about the storage built for the modern age? Check out our infographic!

Topics:Data CenterData StorageScale-out StorageStorage and Archive

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