Our guide to the seven key things the C-suite needs to think about when matching their organisation’s data to a storage solution.
You have a lot of data now, and as ‘big data’ piles in you are going to have a lot more in future. But not all data is equal, and neither are all storage solutions. Some data is essential to routine operations, and needs to be available at all times. Some is critically important, but can be archived until needed for internal analysis or external auditing perhaps. Other data is merely useful; you don’t want to lose it, but it may not be worth spending a lot of money on multiple back-ups and instant availability.
Your data storage solution shouldn’t be based on on a one-size-fits-all basis. Here’s the LinuxIT list of things CIOs and CTOs need to consider to ensure that your strategy for storing data addresses your business needs, at the lowest possible cost.
- Monitor your company’s file storage environments over time, tracking which kinds of files are being created, why they are being created, who is creating them, how old they are and how much storage capacity they consume.
- Understand the business value of your data, not only as it exists today, but also as it has changed over time and how it will be in the future. Before deciding on a Data storage strategy you need to check how fast the data needs to be accessed; how quickly lost data needs to be restored from backup; how long the data has to be retained and how secure it must be.
- ‘Big Data’ often means unstructured data generated by email and social media. It is likely to include freetext, audio and video. Do you really need to manage that in the same way as the highly structured data used in your transactional systems?
- Security and data protection compliance needs to be checked. It varies across industries and across national boundaries. You need to know what you can store where and how secure it is.
- Create a data retention policy. You will need it for compliance anyway and the business value of the data should play a vital role in determining what you keep where and for how long. Always ensure that you do not store redundant data.
- Evaluate what you already have in-house or in long term contracts with providers. Re-purposing existing hardware or Cloud storage with a software defined storage (SDS) system such as RedHat Storage can be a cost effective way of improving your data storage.
- Storage Clouds are not created equal. Some Clouds are best for archiving purpose, some for performance or stability. Don’t just focus on price.
- By understanding the business value of data and matching it to storage with the right mix of performance, availability, and cost, you can buy the storage you need. Don’t be tempted to buy storage based on price without thinking through the long term costs of scaling to meet future needs, floor space, power consumption, technology refresh and support.
Keep all these factors in mind when designing your data storage strategy and reduce the strain on your organisations’ IT infrastructures and operations.
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