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How to Manage the Costs of Growing Storage Needs

The storage industry is constantly innovating and trying to come up with ways to pack the most amount of data into the smallest and most efficient device possible. Business need for storage space is growing rapidly thanks to the number of devices that create storage, along with individual file sizes increasing.

A recent survey conducted by Red Hat found that capacity demand will increase by 54% in three to five years. 94% of respondents said that they’re frustrated with their current storage implementations and fear that they’ll be unable to cope with growing capacity and workloads.

The survey also found that storage’s share of the IT budget is only set to increase from 13% to 14.5% in the same time period, it’s clear that something needs to change. Storage plans need to be overhauled if businesses want to be able to continue operating their data systems efficiently.

Of course, it’s not as simple as increasing the number of drives or switching everything out for a new technology. That’d be incredibly expensive, to start with. Instead, the approach needed is one that combines multiple technologies – for many, a hybrid cloud solution is the best. But let’s take a look at some suggestions.

Solid state drives continue to drop in price, though still aren’t as cheap as their older hard disk drive counterparts. The main benefit is that they’re faster and more reliable. NVM Express products change the way that data is distributed in applications, rather than packed in RAID arrays, meaning that SATA SSDs can be used in many server workloads. They provide a performance boost and also reduce the number of servers required, thus the overall structure may end up being cheaper.

Alternatively, consider using an entirely all-flash array. You’ll see a huge boost in performance. You don’t have to throw out those older disks either, as these can be repurposed for a cold storage later. Not only will be have a more efficient plan, but you’ll also have a safer one thanks to the extra layer of redundancy.

This all comes with a cost, so businesses should try looking at how they can reuse or expand from their current strategy without starting over from scratch. It’s expected that the majority of data growth is going to be unstructured, which means that object storage is likely to be a part of a storage plan.

One suggestion to cope with this is to use storage as a service, shifting the costs of in-house storage out to a provider. You’ll still have to pay a contractual cost, but it removes your own overhead of having to pay for the equipment. However, always bear in mind the security implications of using a third-party provider to store your data with.

Whatever choice you go with, adapting to a constantly changing data marketplace is key. The need for data storage is going to mount at a drastic rate and you need to make sure that your business is ready to handle the load at a sensible cost.


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