One of the biggest challenges facing CIOs today is that storage is doubling every two years and storage utilisation is averaging at only 33 per cent, due to over-provisioning and complex storage management. The move from paper-based to electronic-based documents, along with explosion of digital media, are also key challenges.
Organisations are also struggling to measure and report on service levels to the business in terms of integration with business processes, and performance and availability of their business-critical applications. Legislation and compliance requirements are driving longer term storage retention and the ability to protect and retrieve data is becoming more critical.
When making any purchasing decision around storage arrays, the IT leader needs to ensure key considerations:
- The growth of storage impacts both data management and expenditure in an organisation, so CIOs need to look at their whole data management strategy to minimise their ongoing investment while still providing reliable 24/7 operations.
- They must be flexible to meet changing business requirements, maximise availability, increase recovery timeframes and ensure they provide strong integration to key technologies, such as virtualisation, e-archiving, databases, backup and data protection.
- They need to select storage management tools that can provide capacity planning and virtual provisioning to ensure maximum utilisation of their storage investment.
- They should establish a data retention strategy to reduce the amount of effort to managed the data and minimise tier one storage costs such as archiving, for internal governance and external compliance as well as reducing backup windows, reduce management of data and remove stale data.
- They should select technologies with proven reliability (99.999% uptime), and vendors who can perform non-disruptive upgrades, as well as partner with storage vendors who can demonstrate a strong future roadmap, have technologies with ease of management, and are aligned with important industry directions, such as Green IT and Cloud integration.
Adele Lamb is Centre Solutions Practice Manager with Dimension Data Data.
This story first appeared in the October/November print edition of Computerworld.