Herwig Evenepoel

Redefining File Services: Unveiling the way to a smarter data storage strategy

Blog Post created by Herwig Evenepoel Employee on Mar 27, 2018

The pressure on IT teams is quickly approaching breaking point. The extraordinary growth of unstructured data is showing no signs of slowing down, and expectations for innovative new services are rising fast. Across the business, users from the C-level down expect IT to deliver on every front.

All the while, budgets have not grown to meet the emerging challenges, and traditional storage architectures simply cannot keep up with the pace of change. The result is many companies facing potentially huge headaches in terms of compliance and data security.

So, how can enterprises prepare for the demands of big data? It is time to embrace new, smarter ways of working that deliver the levels of performance, protection and scale required to ensure continued commercial success.

Moving beyond outdated thinking

Companies that believe that traditional file services can support their ongoing growth in the big data age are missing a fundamental point: the rules of the game have changed. Those conventional strategies—Windows and NFS servers or NAS boxes—were designed for a very different set of data challenges, when workloads were much more limited than they are now.

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Gartner estimates that data volumes will grow by 800 percent in the next five years, with 80 percent residing as unstructured data. Answering demand for storage capacity using traditional file services would lead to an unsustainable level of complexity within the data center. You would require more and more devices, as NFS servers simply cannot scale beyond petabyte-level.

That will mean more hardware to manage and power, and your storage costs creeping ever higher. And with constantly growing data volumes spread across multiple siloes, completing backups becomes more difficult and time-consuming. In fact, the cost of completing backups would soon be the equivalent of several times the acquisition cost of your storage assets.

 

Addressing demand for mobility

Although a huge problem, data growth is far from the only issue facing IT teams. Factor in, too, the impact of the consumerization of IT across your business. Your employees today expect the flexibility to work remotely, connecting their own devices to the corporate network to access sensitive data, and often relying on third-party solutions to share and store files.

The problem, of course, is that corporate data is suddenly beyond the control of your IT team. Research published by Gartner suggests that 28 percent of all corporate data now resides on individual workers’ laptops and tablets, rather than being securely stored within the data center.

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Underlying this challenge is the fact that traditional file services are poorly suited to support sharing between remote users. They were engineered for working within a fixed office environment, rather than supporting a highly mobile modern workforce.

The potential consequences of all that data outside your control could be enormous. Not only do you run the risk of failing to meet compliance regulations, but you are highly vulnerable to data loss or cyberattack, which could cripple your systems and cause lasting damage to your reputation with shareholders and consumers.

 

Transitioning to a modern architecture

Proactive enterprises have already begun the process of re-assessing their storage strategy to ensure they are ready for the challenges of big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and new regulations.

What these companies have realized, too, is that implementing smarter data management and governance processes today will be the springboard for generating new revenue streams and seizing competitive advantage in tomorrow’s marketplace.

The modern enterprise storage architecture cuts away the need for multiple servers that sprawl across your data centre, enabling a significant reduction in power and cooling costs. It delivers the scalability to cope with unstructured data growth, and the flexibility and security to ensure data is always safe at the same time as available to roaming business users. And it provides the foundation for analytics and business intelligence initiatives that monetize data as a business asset.

 

Redefining file services: the Hitachi approach

This is precisely what the Hitachi Content Portfolio provides for users. Our integrated solution combines cloud object storage, secure file sync and share capabilities, and advanced content intelligence tools to pinpoint specific data assets.

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As a first step, users can easily migrate data from their scattered NAS appliances, local devices and file servers into a centralized storage repository on Hitachi Content Platform (HCP). HCP can scale to hold billions of individual objects and their metadata, and users can expand into the cloud, avoiding the need to add further physical infrastructure.

Once your data is ingested, HCP Anywhere supports file sharing among users, providing reliable, round-the-clock access to corporate data, wherever your workers are based. Unlike a traditional file system, however, data remains firmly under the control of your IT team, and users no longer have any need to rely on third-party services to access files remotely.

The addition of Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) allows your data science or legal team to search through your data assets, building up an index of relevant assets for audit or analytics purposes. What would take days of work to complete using conventional file systems can be finished within minutes.

Altogether, the Hitachi Content Portfolio provides a comprehensive and cost-effective platform to modernize your storage environment, mobilize your data assets and enable greater collaboration and innovation. By re-thinking and re-engineering your file services, you can gain the agility to thrive in the age of big data.

 

Hear more on this by watching our webinar series “Lead with Data”:

 

To learn more about how Hitachi Content Portfolio can help to transform your business, visit: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/cloud-object-platform/content-platform.html

 

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