The industry is buzzing right now with talk of “the information explosion”. In talking to customers and digging a little deeper, it seems that the trend of unmanageable and extreme data growth is largely the fault of “unstructured data” (email, video, social media, backups, powerpoint are all cited regularly is chief culprits).
Whilst an exponential growth in data and the storage devices necessary to store it are clearly in need of revised and sometimes disruptive new approaches, I can’t help but think that a “back to basics” philosophy might also be appropriate in many cases.. You remember, good old-fashioned IT service management discipline that we were told years ago would bring our IT shops into line (and that most of us never quite got around to implementing).
On recent visits to our customers and in discussing their current storage and “information explosion” nightmares, we have (in almost every case) needed to create a transformation plan who’s first few tasks are all too familiar.... Create an asset register, assess duplication of data, measure utilisation rates, classify data types... None of these techniques are new and, yet, it seems that many organisations are investing in new and disruptive technologies (SSD, appliances, cloud solutions...) before checking off the basics. There’s nothing wrong with disruptive technology, by the way.. The future of storage management, I believe, depends on them and Symantec are bringing plenty to market here in the form of appliances, cloud services and other innovative improvements to the way in which storage can be managed.
However, recent experience has shown us that a simple assessment of current storage assets and their associated data sets can almost immediately uncover opportunities to save money and offset the need to buy more expensive hardware. I suggest that we should make sure that the basics are in place before we turn to new technologies to solve the problem of “the information explosion”.