A “Dropbox” for Your Company? It Could Happen Sooner Than You Think
Improved management of data storage costs has quickly become a top operational priority due to the significant role technology plays in the success of businesses. The vast amount of data growth experienced by
companies each year is causing several businesses to rethink how they are currently utilizing their available storage capacity and how processes affect the amount of resources available at a given moment. Companies who choose to allocate storage by following traditional methods typically lose money as data is tied to a particular tier rather than provisioned based on resource allocation needs. The introduction of “the cloud” among various additional technology elements has caused businesses to seek more cost effective, reliable choices with the capability to utilize resources in a manner that does not waste their IT dollars. This desire for improvement leads to an important question: If you had the opportunity to introduce and use the same technology offered by applications like Dropbox in your company while maintaining control in a secure environment, would you do it?
The most experienced engineers recommend implementing these technologies because it helps companies to cut costs, provision data between tiers correctly, and make certain information is only written to utilized blocks of storage. “Big Data” is the new trend for a reason and Headwaters engineers are among the best when it comes to this type of implementation. Headwaters has executed over thirty dynamic tiering and provisioning projects in the past twenty-four months to aid companies in reaching the goal of a private, secure cloud environment with all the benefits of the technology utilized by applications such as Dropbox. Regardless of utilized systems or the total amount of resources required by a business, storage virtualization, dynamic tiering, and thin provisioning are the next step toward improving information management capabilities, decreasing costs, and creating the secure cloud environment sought out by large-scale companies today.
What Are The Most Advantageous, Storage Trends of Today?
How do businesses put allocated funds to best use while having what is necessary to properly manage large amounts of continuously growing data? The answer can be found by implementing and using these three approaches to creating a secure, reliable private cloud environment:
- Storage Virtualization
- Dynamic Tiering
- Dynamic (Thin) Provisioning
A public cloud such as Dropbox does not offer the security or reliability required by businesses handling vast amounts of sensitive, private information. While beneficial to the typical individual user, large-scale companies require increased storage capabilities and a secure environment. A private cloud setup becomes beneficial in this situation and these three technologies form the perfect environment where businesses can decrease costs by as much as 70% while gaining the ability to properly provision data for quick, reliable access.
The benefits of these concepts, commonly referred to as “Big Data,” have caused a number of data rich companies as well as service providers to seek the perfect dynamically tiered private cloud with the ability to intelligently route and access information based on the amount of required storage and speed. As a result, the least accessed data is not stored on the fastest, most expensive resource but instead moved to a lower tier. The approach makes it easy for a business to properly manage costs and guarantee the right amount of resources are made available at the time of need. These concepts have not only proven to be useful for physical storage, but also boost the capabilities of defined storage architectures, data center virtualization technologies, and disaster recovery approaches.
The IDC or International Data Corporation performed a recent study on “Big Data” technology on a worldwide scale. As part of the findings, the IDC expects this growing market to experience rapid acceleration in the next five years with a growth rate of just below 40%.Companies choosing this technology not only receive the benefits of deploying a Dropbox-like environment to their internal users, but also gain a competitive advantage by removing the guesswork behind data storage component utilization. The decision to implement this technology now ensures that actions are taken based on accurate, timely, and secure data rather than by less informed judgment calls. Please refer to this link http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=233485 to learn more information about the report findings.
Understanding the Benefits of Forward Thinking Storage Concepts
Virtualization is no new concept, but it has begun to turn heads as companies realize they can redefine available resources to make certain information is stored, accessed, and maintained in the most cost effective manner. The concept allows for better resource utilization across multiple systems or tiers. In previous days, a business would allocate a specific server, tier, or amount of data to a defined system or block of storage regardless of access needs. Block virtualization involves the separation of partitions from the actual physical space to create a dynamically accessible environment capable of operating as if it is a single storage unit. Often set up as a SAN or Storage Area Network, the approach supplies a greater amount of flexibility to administrators in regards to how storage is managed among end users and available systems.
Dynamic tiering boosts automation to deliver astounding performance increases and to optimize the use of tiered storage within an infrastructure by positioning records based on the required workload rather than what has been allocated to a defined process or set of data. In the end, businesses choosing to implement dynamic tiering are able to maximize provided levels of service in addition to reduce associated costs. Virtualization concepts can be combined with dynamic tiering to move data between each tier based on needs rather than allocated resources. The two concepts provide these specific benefits:
- Improved Utilization of Fast and Slow Drives
- Decreased Need for Human Intervention
- Immediate Storage Utilization
- Creation of a Stronger, More Dependable Structure
- Improved Archiving and Backup Processes
- Simplified Recovery Procedures
- Data Moves Between Locations Based on Usage
- Takes the Guesswork Out of Storage
By combining these two concepts with thin provisioning, companies are able to implement today’s hottest technology to gain a significant increase in storage utilization at a reduced cost. Dynamic or thin provisioning uses virtualization, consolidation, and automation to create an increased number of physical resources than what is available. It is a highly efficient implementation choice at times when utilized resources are far less than what has been allocated. The approach allows a company to allocate the required amount of storage based on needs rather than by setting up a defined block of storage, which will most likely never be used efficiently. Companies are better able to keep the cost of virtualization in check by managing required resources through thin provisioning practices.
Putting It All into Perspective
The desire lies in taking advantage of the benefits offered by consumer oriented, free public cloud solutions; however, these options create specific security, usability, and efficiency concerns. Storage virtualization, dynamic tiering, and thin provisioning are a viable answer to these issues because they create the highly desired environment offered by public cloud providers such as Dropbox without the fallbacks of putting sensitive information into someone else’s hands. These elements produce a secure, private cloud environment that is easy to use, efficient, and ready for growth. Enterprise solutions based on these concepts form a private cloud environment capable of eliminating several problems experienced by large companies today.
Companies not have to worry about someone else controlling their data or resources becoming inefficient due to a vast amount of content duplication when this technology is in place. Additionally, better utilization allows for increased employee productivity while drastically decreasing the cost of data management across multiple systems. A virtualized environment decreases the end cost and makes information accessible from any location without the fallbacks of reduced security or control. Tier management as a single entity where only the required resources are allocated makes it easy to maintain peak performance optimization among all information management resources. If you are an engineer who desires the opportunity to level up your technology game in a team oriented environment or a company desiring to implement this beneficial solution, please click here to contact Headwaters about this revolutionary concept.
About Headwaters Group
Founded in 2005, Headwaters Group, Inc. provides professional services and consulting to IT manufacturers, solutions providers, and enterprise IT organizations. Headwaters’ consultants specialize in the design, deployment and management of complex enterprise storage environments that require a more sophisticated level of engineering talent. For more information on our team and our capabilities, visit www.TheHeadwatersGroup.com