The Generation Gap: Upgrading Data Storage Systems Efficiently and Effectively

Due to the massive data growth of in the coming years, many businesses’ existing storage applications have been identified as insufficient to technically support in storing and managing the increasing amount of digital data.

According to research firm IDC, the amount of digital information created, captured, or replicated in 2010 will amount to 1.2 zettabytes (1.2 trillion gigabytes). By 2020, IDC estimates this will balloon to 35 zettabytes.

In line, we also defined out the four major weaknesses of the current generation of data storage systems that have been widely deployed in Malaysian businesses:

  1. Less competence in handling the network throughputs: With the emergence of customers’ diversifying business models and the concurrent development of internal IT systems, many businesses’ existing storage system do not able to support the data Input/Output traffic thus resulted negative impacts on application performance and service delivery to IT customers and users. Some of the major impacts are including decrease in productivity, network congestion, poor IT device’s performance, and application instability.
  2. Frequent and regular maintenance required: Business losses brought about by the sudden downtime due to the system maintenance or expansion of capacity required. For traditional middle-range storage system, all users are usually advised to shut down the whole operations while the system requires capacity expansion or changing components. Although some of the storage systems support online disk expansion cabinet, a total shutdown is still advised for safety reasons.
  3. Inflexible load balancing capability: Hot data (Referring to frequently accessed data)needs to be placed on high-performance drives while cold data (Referring to historical data that can lie relatively dormant) are always been placing on cost-effective, high-capacity drives. With the coexistence of hot and cold data, there is a trade-off between cost and performance. You can gain storage space by adding more large-capacity drives, but you will end up with excess capacity. Likewise, you can gain bandwidth by adding more high-performance drives, but you will also end up with insufficient capacity. The key is finding a balance between the two extremes.
  4. Rise of maintenance costs: Storage systems maintenance involves energy consumption, operation maintenance, and disk density usually results in a commensurate increase in companies’ total cost of ownership.

In order to adequately address these weaknesses, customers have had to cobble together disparate products and solutions. This is often problematic due to the increasing marginal cost of each unit, making the entire solution extremely expensive. Moreover, the solutions themselves are literally strung together and are difficult to operate and to service in an efficient manner.

The Need of a complete storage solution

Most storage vendors are limited in their options when confronted with such challenges. However, today enterprises require a set of proactive, flexible and high performance storage solution to address these shortcomings and bring extra value to the business.

The storage hardware solution must consist of features such as high-density disk design, a high density Input/Ouput module, hot plug-and-play design, tiered performance-accelerating technology, and multiple data protection to effectively manage the data storage and its relation to the continuity of businesses for the coming future.

A set of new generation enhanced storage solution can effectively addresses the four major weaknesses that customers encounter with storage systems while significantly reducing the initial capital investment, helping enterprises boost storage performance and capacity while lowering Total Cost of Ownership.

By Alan Goh , Product Director, Huawei Symantec Asia Pacific, Southern Pacific Region

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