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  • 3 June 2014 11:25

How data sharing delivers a strategic information advantage

By Ted Oade, Senior Director, Worldwide Product Marketing, Overland Storage

Because corporate data is such a precious corporate asset, businesses need to unlock the full value of its information by using an infrastructure that is purpose built for data sharing. To focus efforts on creating optimum conditions for effective collaboration, data sharing must span the entire corporation.

Global data sharing can be achieved only by consolidating corporate data in a single repository. The process can be complex since modern businesses operate internationally, supply chains can span multiple geographies, markets can be continent-wide and human resources might exist in multiple corporations.

Effective consolidation requires supporting heterogeneous clients and data types, and the optimum solution should easily support unstructured data, which is the largest volume of data held by an organisation.

The first step towards achieving universal data sharing is to set up a storage repository with the capacity to store all corporate data. That capacity must be able to scale on demand. Leading data storage vendors simplify the management of these expanding data pools by easing the complexity of locating data.

Optimally, a storage solution should be able to support both scale-up and scale-out technology. Scaling up describes the ability to add more storage capacity, while scaling out increases capacity and access bandwidth. While adding capacity is important, for data sharing it is vital to scale access as well. Secondly the solution must be able to support widespread file sharing. Source information, program outputs and working datasets are all commonly stored as files.

The third requirement is global data protection. If more data is consolidated for broader access and kept for longer periods, then data protection must be absolutely reliable. This means protecting locally as well as remotely.

Finally the solution needs security. With so much data entrusted to a single repository and with access being promoted globally and across organisations, it is essential to ensure information integrity and secure access.

Certain clustered NAS solutions are capable of resolving the problems of traditional storage by enabling organisations with rapid or unpredictable data growth to scale capacity and performance simultaneously. Such technology eliminates islands of storage, enabling easy, affordable scaling without having to predict capacity in advance. Offering user selectable levels of data redundancy, advanced devices are capable of writing data across multiple nodes and drives simultaneously for instant protection and high availability, ensuring that no single point of failure ever exists.

Look for devices that offer ‘single pane of glass’ management which will enable storage scaling as needed, without additional layers of administration.

A clustered NAS will add additional capacity from new nodes or drives automatically, ensuring proper configuration and load balancing for optimal performance. There are practically no limits to the number of nodes or drives in a more advanced NAS cluster, allowing growth without boundaries, all while remaining online with superior data protection.

Management complexity reduced

A global namespace aggregates distinctly separate file systems to a single unified storage pool, which reduces overall management complexity and prevents islands of storage from forming on a network by consolidating file storage.

An advanced NAS cluster connects with any client type and shares files across Windows, Linux, UNIX and Macintosh platforms. IT infrastructure is simplified by consolidating storage elements into a single global namespace to handle all business requirements dynamically.

Such a cluster can withstand multiple drive failures, allowing any node to fail at any time without interruption or loss of data. A clustered NAS architecture enhances the availability equation by rebuilding only the data blocks of a failed drive or node, decreasing the time to full redundancy by not rebuilding empty blocks of storage unnecessarily.

Look for a NAS cluster that provides local security for small infrastructures or joins larger networks that include complex security policies. With full integration into Windows Active Directory domains, UNIX domains and cross- compatibility for mixed security environments, a good NAS cluster can maintain consistent permissions for users, with minimal intervention, across business units.

Prepare for disaster recovery with a data replicator, the more advanced of which automatically replicate files between NAS servers, Windows, Linux, UNIX and Macintosh servers. A replicator built for globally distributed businesses will ensure that files are moved off-site safely and securely.

Data sharing is the new frontier of value and competitiveness that translates into a strategic information advantage. The simplicity of NAS cluster technology, in combination with automated management, helps to make universal data sharing a reality.

About Overland Storage

Overland Storage is a trusted global provider of unified data management and data protection solutions across the data lifecycle. The company delivers one of the most extensive and complementary product portfolios and service offerings in the industry. By providing an integrated range of technologies and services for primary, nearline, offline, and archival data storage, Overland Storage and Tandberg Data, a wholly owned subsidiary of Overland, make it easy and cost effective to manage different tiers of information over the data lifecycle, whether distributed data is across the hall or across the globe. Overland Storage and Tandberg Data solutions are available through a select network of value-added resellers and system integrators.

For more information on Overland Storage, visit www.overlandstorage.com. For more information on Tandberg Data, visit www.tandbergdata.com

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