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Get the Most out of your Data Archive

Platina Systems
7 minutes

It goes without saying: the value of data is enormous. Organizations across every industry are collecting all the data they can to tap into ways to analyze, understand and improve their performance. From learning more about customers to better attract and retain them, to understanding industry trends and the organization’s response to them, the ability to properly collect, analyze and translate data into actionable guidance gives organizations an unparalleled competitive advantage.

But how does an organization manage this increasingly large pool of data? How do you revisit your data archive from days, weeks, months or years past to monitor growth or determine if a strategy is working? How do you analyze your data in a timely manner so the insights you discover make sense for your organization today?

The seemingly obvious answer might be public cloud providers, because the popular belief is that public clouds are the answer to everything. And though that might be the case, once an enterprise’s data reaches scale, the public cloud becomes extremely inflexible, making the data residing in the cloud expensive to manage and move, prohibiting efforts to effectively analyze the data. And therein lies the challenge: the unwieldy amount of data that will keep growing makes your list of viable and cost-effective storage options smaller and smaller.

This data explosion and resulting storage conundrum is well documented. IDC reports that the global datasphere, or the amount of data created and consumed in the world each year, will grow from 45 zettabytes (ZB) in 2019 to 175 ZB by 2025. Additionally, Gartner predicts by 2022, data created outside the data center or cloud will increase from 10% to 50%, and up to 75% by 2025. And perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, the majority of that data (59%) is expected to be stored outside the public cloud. This could explain why there is so much interest in hybrid cloud computing solutions, making it easier for organizations to analyze their data in the most timely and cost-effective way possible.

 

A new digital future is taking shape. As data volumes surge and its value is only extracted often after heavy analysis, it’s time for organizations to re-evaluate their approach to infrastructure.

 

Data-heavy applications produce an astronomical amount of new data that needs to be aggregated and processed in a timely manner to extract value and gain insights. The public cloud becomes inflexible and cost-prohibitive because it can become expensive to move data around when an organization needs to read and analyze data frequently. The cost of simply storing data in public clouds is $10-23/terabyte per month depending on the performance and distribution and doesn't include egress charges. The purchase price of an entire drive is about $20/terabyte (which doesn't factor in replication in a cloud service), but needless to say, cloud pricing for storage pays for itself in a timescale of months.This increasingly becomes a challenge because organizations are leveraging the increasing prevalence of AI and machine learning to incorporate existing archival data. Though this creates the opportunity to gain even deeper actionable guidance and insights, it substantially increases the amount of data to analyze (and therefore, to move).


Infrastructure matters because data matters. Not only is there an economic consideration for increasing data volumes, as the value of data continues to increase, there is a strategic consideration on where that data is stored, whether for control, security, privacy or performance.

 

The importance of infrastructure is growing at a rate that mirrors the growth of data. In fact, organizations operating in the real world, like brick and mortar retail, manufacturing, transportation, energy and healthcare, among others, are putting infrastructure in place to ensure they can tap into the value of the data they collect to improve their performance. But this is only the first step. The data also requires tight feedback loops to allow the organization to continuously improve response times and ultimately be as real-time as possible; it’s not a one-and-done deal.

 

One of the appeals of the public cloud is that the operational burdens of running infrastructure are lifted - albeit with a linear cost - not a good thing when data is growing exponentially. Infrastructure is inherently dynamic; there are all sorts of changes such as  updates and upgrades to the infrastructure software and hardware over time, and organizations face significant challenges to keep track as well as keep information up-to-date. And this doesn’t even touch on the applications that have their own release cadence with their own potential hardware and software compatibility, as well as their own sets of service requirements that must be met. 

 

Further complicating matters is that every organization has a unique infrastructure that requires unique toolsets to support it. Not only does this require a time and sizeable investment, but it also poses challenges for the IT executives and teams tasked with developing and maintaining these systems.


Needless to say, a traditional approach to managing infrastructure is quickly becoming a burden, preventing organizations from being agile and acting quickly on new data insights. The challenge revolves around how to dynamically manage and orchestrate resources across many sites with resources that are scarce.

 

What organizations need is a solution that leverages the benefits of a public cloud provider with the security of private cloud storage, giving organizations peace-of-mind that the data meets compliance or regulatory guidelines.

As more data is generated and collected across a broader number of locations, management of modern infrastructure at these locations can seem even more daunting. With a distributed infrastructure in place, however, organizations that operate even under tight budgetary constraints can leverage solutions that allow for automating infrastructure provisioning and cloud resource life cycle management. Sure, the public cloud offered a standardized approach to equipment, protocols, stacks and tools to limit the number of items that need to be mastered, but transitioning to modern infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and storage as a service (SaaS) solutions actually helps organizations simplify the configuration and management of the complex infrastructure required to run today’s modern applications in private cloud storage.

These solutions can help organizations stay on top of complex data issues with solutions that automate infrastructure provisioning and cloud resource life cycle management. In fact, this is why physical data center infrastructures are extending out through smaller and more distributed sites, complementing the existing centralized core.

“Historically network-centric and network-only locations are evolving to increasingly host compute and storage infrastructure," Sean Iraca, Founder and Principal, Double Time Consulting says. "As a result, the future of cloud - public and private - is distributed and brings with it new operational challenges that have yet to be effectively addressed."

Maximize Your Data Archive with Platina

We are quickly marching toward sheer volume of data being a dominant consideration for any kind of IT decision. While the challenge with public cloud centers on cost as organizations increasingly and effortlessly reach petabyte scales, private cloud challenges center on operations related to managing that data. Without a solution in place to properly aggregate and process the multitude of data made available to every organization every day, valuable insights will go unnoticed. Money will be wasted on tool sets that don’t properly support the unique infrastructure of the organization and IT staff will be overworked trying to put out fires and keep up with the bare minimum.

Yes, there are a slew of challenges organizations could face when trying to increase infrastructure. But it’s possible to mitigate the challenges associated with your data by leveraging a solution that streamlines and automates operations within and across clusters to enable a flexible and highly scalable private cloud.

Distributed infrastructure is the new normal for this data-heavy generation. The innovative and forward-thinking organizations that make sound investments in managing their data archive will thrive.

Platina’s cost-effective infrastructure orchestration and management solutions help organizations quickly access, retrieve, and unify active archive data from across multiple storage technologies for easier application management. This simplified infrastructure operation for data-heavy applications allows organizations to deploy and manage systems for AI and active archives, simplify on-premise customer deployments and enable developers to focus on development and innovation instead of the operational efforts to manage clusters.

To learn more about how Platina Systems can help you build your private or edge cloud, visit https://www.platinasystems.com/.




From Preservation to Activation: How Modern Data Archives Expose Tape Storage Inadequacies

Tape storage has had a good run. For decades, enterprise organizations have relied on physical tapes to safely store sensitive data. It’s easy to understand why so many large operations have opted to secure their data on tape. Tape storage has long been the most affordable data storage option for preserving data. Tape has been the default because organizations haven’t wanted to mess with something they have grown familiar with operationally. But is tape still a “good thing” in 2021?

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Now that the gloss is wearing from the shiny promise of the public cloud, organizations are increasingly migrating applications and data from public cloud providers (CSPs) to private or on-prem clouds. The drivers for these decisions include a range of issues.

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