Walid Yehia, Sr. Director, Presales – Dell Technologies MERAT
Earlier this year, we released the Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index 2020 Snapshot, which revealed that organisations in EMEA on average are managing almost 73% more data than they were a year ago.
The findings also showed that an increasing number of organisations – 79% in 2019, up from 70% in 2018 – see their data as valuable and are currently extracting value or plan to in the future. In fact, IDC forecasts that the Global DataSphere will grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025 driven by investments in new emerging technologies.
The premise is simple. Digital transformation starts with IT transformation, which requires customers to modernize their data centers with infrastructure designed to simplify their data landscape, optimize workloads at any scale and secure an organisation's most valuable asset – data. As a result, organisations that are looking to increase competitiveness by maximizing the value of data, must update their storage infrastructure to create business opportunities.
In data storage – which touches every IT-driven business – the pace of innovation is accelerating, yet most enterprises continue to struggle with data’s explosive growth and velocity. Getting the highest use and value from their data is becoming ever more critical for organisations, especially for those with data stores reaching exabyte scale. So, this brings us to the real question. What are some of the enterprise data storage practices that would help unlock the real value of data capital?
Firstly, it is important for organisations to refresh their storage hardware on a regular basis and keep up with the increased data demands by eliminating aging infrastructure that is more susceptible to failures that cause outages / downtime. Modern storage infrastructure can also reduce the data silos and the struggle to manage messy data. It also frequently includes advanced data protection features that help ensure the on-premises data remains safe and secure. Data encryption adds an additional layer of protection to this, improving data security and mitigating the potential for data loss.
Second, as we look at technology requirements today and beyond 2020, one thing is clear. Storage will be architected and consumed as Software-Defined and the lines between storage and compute will continue to blur as organisations demand unparalleled agility and simplicity for business-critical IT infrastructure to respond effectively to rapidly changing market dynamics.
Some of our customers tell us they are looking for more flexibility in their traditional Storage Area Networks (SANs), wishing to have compute as close to storage as possible to support data-centric workloads and to reduce operational complexity. This is because software-defined approaches combine industry-standard hardware components and protocols with software to pool and manage resources within modern datacenters. And for organisations that require the flexibility of rapidly scaling storage and compute independently of each other or need to consolidate multiple high performance or general workloads, software-defined infrastructure (SDI) becomes a viable alternative to traditional SANs and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) for certain workloads.
But when selecting a software-defined platform there are some critical aspects to consider. The platform must offer:
- Unparalleled flexibility and scale: that enables you to choose the environment that best meets the application requirements and consolidate mixed-application workloads on shared infrastructure.
- Simplicity and automation: that boosts IT operations and lifecycle management, while mitigating impact of failures and eliminating common storage management overheads.
- Extreme performance and enterprise availability: that delivers leading-edge performance for enterprise applications, including high-performance databases, big-data analytics and AI / ML workloads.
- A rich solutions ecosystem: that is optimized and validated for a broad set of enterprise workloads that seamlessly deliver a rich ecosystem of cloud automation and container management tools, to further enhance IT agility.
Thanks to software-defined architecture, disruptive and costly data migrations are a thing of the past. For organisations, that means better business execution, increased revenue opportunities and more productive teams. This is important because in today’s data era, having an agile, flexible foundation for IT infrastructure is more critical than ever before. And with advanced storage infrastructure technology, organisations can now harness the potential of software and embrace change while delivering consistent, predictable IT outcomes that drive business forward.