Good reasons for storage migration | Part (1/3)
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
New requirements for storage systems
Data volumes seem to be growing unstoppably. The Internet of Things, smart data, artificial intelligence and neural networks, a wide variety of video, image and data formats – they all contribute to this. Production processes in companies often play a particularly large part in this growth. But today it is just as often about analysing customer behaviour in real time, the effectiveness of advertising measures, UX testing and user research, heat maps and semantic analyses. All of this has immediate economic value, especially in trend-driven industries. The various new use cases also have an impact on your IT infrastructure: the demands on your physical storage systems are changing.
The predictable end of your legacy landscape
Also in your company, legacy landscapes are likely to reach their limits one day or another. Because as the space requirements of your physical storage systems increase, the costs will also rise. At the same time, availability and speed are becoming increasingly important factors. In addition to archival storage and cold storage approaches, hot storage is also playing an increasingly important role for many use cases today – in other words, an event streaming architecture with data access almost in real time.
Object storage: modern, hierarchy-free data storage
For example, in addition to conventional, hierarchical file storage approaches, object storage strategies are also emerging – for new, additional application scenarios. The term “object storage”, describes a method that stores data as discrete objects that are complemented by extensive metadata. This hierarchy-free approach to data storage, which works without a directory structure and puts all objects in one storage pool, is often used in cloud-based storage solutions. On the basis of the unique name for each object, a wide variety of applications are able to retrieve the object, including its metadata, as needed.
An example of the real advantages
Following the principle of such an object storage approach, we at brox, for example, supported a large enterprise in migrating from its old Windows platform to a NetApp NAS platform – since the requirements of the enterprise had changed. One of the benefits that the group was able to realise with its migration was not least the data efficiency features of the object storage idea: the storage space requirement was significantly reduced while the storage density increased. The cost reductions that resulted from the migration were also an important motive.
Storage becomes more ecological
In addition, the organisation has been able to accelerate data-related processes through the new NetApp NAS platform, and it now enjoys significantly simplified management of its systems. Furthermore, the storage migration has laid the foundation for new process automations. Last but not least: the new object storage solution has also opened up important advantages for the group from an ecological perspective. Thanks to the new all-flash arrays, power consumption and floor space have been reduced. In this way, the group is approaching the ideal of CO2-free, emission-neutral production.
Trust deficits regarding the cloud
However, there is a rather conservative basic attitude in German groups – and generally also in German SMEs – when it comes to cloud storage concepts. Concerns about data security and the unconditional location of the data in the German or European legal area play a significant role here. Accordingly, when choosing a cloud provider, great importance is often given to ensuring that its servers are located on German soil – if only to prevent data from being spied on. Many German companies also mainly outsource such data to the cloud that has no particular strategic relevance for them.
Individual storage concepts
All these concerns are quite understandable. Moreover, the cloud is of course not the only option. Rather, it is important that the storage approach fits your requirements. That’s why we don’t prescribe a particular model for our customers, but rather provide a decision-making aid that discusses costs, benefits and underlying conditions. In some cases, hybrid storage concepts are a good choice. The important thing is to find the ideal mix for your needs, use cases and strategies. The optimal storage approach for a company is always individual – in terms of technology, performance and cost structure.
The pitfalls of storage migration
Knowing which storage strategy will ultimately best meet the needs of a particular enterprise and what technical tasks are fundamentally involved in the corresponding migration is one thing. The other, however, is the knowledge of how to really lead a migration project to success. How to avoid the pitfalls, which best practices to follow and which measures are indispensable for a successful storage migration. At brox, we call this our “Know-how To Succeed”.
Continuation in part two
In the second part of our three-part blog series on storage, which will be published shortly, we will look at the challenges of a storage migration: The pitfalls of storage migration.
Justin Lee Weis
Partner / Procurator