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Top Mistakes When Deploying New Storage

It’s always tricky to deploy new storage, especially when it’s part of a larger new solution. You might be switching out hardware, beginning with a new supplier, downsizing your capacity… whatever it is, there’s always a pressure due to the amount of unstructured data that is being produced.

It’s estimated by Gartner that the amount of unstructured data is increasing at 40% year-on-year. When you pair that with the capacity requirements of innovations like artificial intelligence and machine learning, there’s now a constant battle: having the right storage solution, while maintaining suitable costs.

Your storage should not be considered separate from anything else in the business. Providing storage and working in IT is providing a service. The key performance indicators of the IT department might not be the same as that of the rest of the business, which causes difficulties.

A common problem in many businesses is that storage is purchased for each project, as the requirements arise. Silos are problematic for many reasons across a business, but not least in storage. It’s not good for redundancy and causes legacy problems when it comes to accessing and archiving that data.

Storage needs to be lean. It needs to serve the requirements of the business and there needs to be enough capacity for work to proceed as normal. However, that doesn’t mean that you should hoard unused storage space.

Although virtualisation is on the rise, paired with compression technology, there’s still a widespread problem of IT departments maintaining far too much storage. This could be down to bad planning or it might be a necessary evil to deal with requirement spikes. Whatever the case, maintaining that data comes with financial costs to keep it running, but it also wastes physical space too.

On-premise systems are expensive, though many prefer to use them over vendors. This can be a mistake when cloud vendors can offer savings on things like upkeep, cooling, physical space, and more. And they often allow for storage to grow and shrink with ease.

The thing that should never be overlooked when it comes to storage is how the backup and recovery process fits into storage. Because it needs to. Though it can often be hard to convince management of the costs of a solid redundancy plan, recent headlines around ransomware should provide the necessary push. The backup needs to be entirely separate from the main storage, else it’s useless.

On top of all of this, you need to ensure that your IT team have the necessary skills to deal with all the challenges that data storage presents. Artificial intelligence can automate many tasks, but a good storage team is not an easy thing to recruit. Keep your staff trained and up-to-date on the latest technologies so that they can keep the storage solution at a high quality.

Finally, consider what the storage is needed for. Technology changes at a rapid pace, and that’s true in the storage world. If you need low latency storage for an AI solution, that’s fine, but perhaps you only need a simple solution for cold storage. Tailor the storage solution to what your business needs and don’t unnecessarily bloat it.


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