Are Your Storage Needs Out Of Control? Here’s What to Do.

A side effect of all this wonderful data and analytics in our hands these days is the massive amount of storage required to contain it all. It’s funny how many articles talk about being able to access these vast amounts of information without bringing up the way that the information is organized and stored.

And granted, it’s not the sexiest problem to work on. But it is important. Even setting aside the fact that you can visibly watch your storage expand like the Blob, storage configuration is a crucial aspect to take into account when tackling problems like latency, user experience and cloud agility.

It’s Not About More Storage, It’s About Smarter Storage

It’s tempting to think that all things being equal, simply buying more storage is the best answer. After all storage is cheap, compared to other types of services, and with IT departments already overextended, this is a problem that can solve itself. Right?

But this is simply a poor use of resources, like building an attached garage because your storage room was full junk. At least clean and organize your storage room before you decide you need more space.

Here’s where software defined storage (SDS) comes in. These infrastructure solutions are overlaid on your existing physical storage and allow for smarter choices about resource allocation and traffic.

The SDS layer creates a virtual storage controller layer that unifies (virtually) all the different platforms and places your data lives, then makes the best decisions based on the situation at hand. However, you can make things easier for it.

Upgrade Your Disks (But Not To SSD)

No one likes to contemplate hardware upgrades. They are expensive, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking. But the fact remains that disk technology has gotten better, and that means greater efficiency.

Of course, it’s tempting to think that if a disk drive is good, an SSD would be better — and it is better. But it’s not more cost-effective. Google, who has good reason to go all-in on storage optimization, says that the cost per GB is still too high. They still use them for caching and high-performance workloads, but in their estimation, the cost of SSDs is going to track with traditional disks for at least the next decade.

Consider Cold Storage

Not every piece of information needs to be accessible in nanoseconds. And for those pieces, wouldn’t it make sense to put them a little further out of the way? Enter “cold” storage.

When used alongside your SDS, cold storage is cheaper to run, but still accessible. Amusingly enough, it’s not just me who thinks of old horror movies when contemplating the ever-growing mass of data — Microsoft just launched their cold storage service, which they named “Cool Blob.”

Cold storage can cut costs by 50% or more, so it may even pay for your hardware upgrades!

Dealing with large bodies of data is a problem that won’t go away. Start implementing these strategies today, and you’ll thank yourself later.

 

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