Photo - Andy Khoo, Country Manager, NetApp Malaysia and Brunei
Organisations are creating and saving more data than ever. To paraphrase "the squirrel effect" where, like the squirrel, nowadays people often store what they consider important to success and survival in the corporate world. It is information hoarding at the individual level (we act as if information alone is a work-life sustaining nutrient) but is also a necessary effect of governance and compliance where records may be kept for years depending on industry needs and regulations.
Thus it is increasingly common for companies to save everything and delete nothing - often for valid reasons such as regulatory mandates. By doing so, however, organisations are creating a situation where the majority of their data can outlive the underlying storage infrastructure.
The top three trends that we saw in 2012:
- Big Data, the Cloud and Virtualisation influence in how almost every organisation makes every technology buying decision.
- Servers and storage are becoming more integrated. More storage vendors are looking to move flash closer to or into the server.
- Virtual infrastructure management is in need of a software solution because it is difficult to manage. This is why a software solution that is specifically tailored to monitoring, managing and even fixing trouble spots such as do root cause analysis within virtualized environments is needed.
In the coming year, the business and social technology landscape will continue to change rapidly, with organisations producing a staggering amount of data. To remain in the same spot as the previous year is tantamount to being left behind as everyone else moves ahead. Look at the need for consolidation and conglomeration happening in most key Malaysian industries. The plantations industry has seen an aggregation of assets to compete globally and create mega companies like Sime Darby.
Similarly, in the rubber glove and rubber products industries, we see the consolidation and buy-out of smaller companies by larger players to form giant companies like Top Glove and Supermax. Huge companies have to deal with huge data repositories and make sense of them. That said, businesses must be ready to embrace the changes and challenges created by this new paradigm in data growth.
The industry needs a new type of IT infrastructure that can seamlessly scale as data volume increases and build agile data infrastructure that is also intelligent and capable of supporting data that will outlive the infrastructure.
Our three main messages are intelligent management, immortal operations and infinite scalability. Intelligent data management is the cornerstone of an agile data infrastructure. This means the ability to automatically deploy, adjust and control data storage attributes by using policy-based management. A small number of policies can automate storage operations that may need to be performed hundreds or thousands of times - for instance, creating a LUN (Logical Unit Number for SCSI devices), establishing a replication pair and monitoring performance.
Businesses must also continue to push the limits of scalability for performance, capacity and operations. That is, the infrastructure must be able to scale efficiently and to scale shared resources without the need to scale the number of people managing the environment. Infinite scalability will allow businesses to seamlessly scale to meet any business requirement.
In this highly digitised era, increased virtualisation is a big trend that will grow with importance as IT and business needs continue to increase and accelerate. This is especially the case when it comes to storage. Storage innovations continue to evolve to help enterprises meet its rapidly evolving data and storage needs.
Enterprises will be equipped to take advantage of this if they are flexible and can adapt to the dynamic changes of their business environment which include their IT infrastructures.
Enterprises need to scale up their storage systems non-disruptively. This will be limited by organisational IT budgets and resources, making enterprises search for ways to increase utilisation of its storage assets in the coming year.
Innovation is increasingly important in this competitive and dynamic business landscape and that has challenged the traditional methods of data management.