Finding a Cure for CIO Pain

Finding a Cure for CIO Pain

Posted in tech

Modern Chief Information Officers (CIOs) face three key challenges that can often conflict with each other, making the position a fairly stressful one for even the most experienced executive.  CIOs and all other IT leaders must simultaneously arm their enterprise with the tools to meet the diverse demands of modern business, enable the datacenter to quickly adapt as these demands change and keep costs in check while managing the first two challenges.

The Primary Data DataSphere platform overcomes each of these hurdles with unique technology that eliminates the problem instead of just masking the symptom. Let’s take a look at each of these challenges to see how.

Meeting Diverse Data Demands

The diverse data needs of today’s businesses create an ongoing challenge for today’s CIOs. Rapid data growth and new ways to use data have spurred a wave of innovation on many fronts. Technologies like flash, as well as emerging innovations like phase-change memory, answer the need for ever-faster response times. Advances like web-scale architectures give enterprises the ability to scale performance and capacity quickly, while analytics platforms give businesses fast and actionable insight. Object and cloud storage products are reducing costs to store data that isn’t actively used, but also isn’t deleted. 

Although each of these storage types and platforms offer numerous different benefits, they are also silos that trap data, and therefore must be managed separately. Entire technology categories are being created to address the problems that storage silos create. For example, copy data management solutions aim to reduce the cost of storing multiple copies of data across secondary storage. Chris Mellor, in a recent article for The Register, calls these solutions “silo-melding.”

However, these approaches only partially address the storage silo problem.  Copy data management (CDM) solutions often create a single bigger silo by consolidating many secondary storage silos. But the primary silos remain, so the enterprise still has to manage its primary silos, along with the new, larger secondary silo. Indeed, some copy data management solutions only “meld silos” for the purpose of disaster recovery, or DR.  In addition, CDM solutions often combine the control path and the data path, reducing the performance and scalability potential of these technologies.

DataSphere tackles the problem of maintaining multiple separate storage systems by eliminating storage silos altogether. DataSphere enables a single, global dataspace that allows data to be placed on the right storage, at the right place, at the right time, across all primary or secondary storage systems, from flash to SAN and NAS storage to the cloud. DataSphere also delivers high performance and massive scalability by placing the control path out-of-band of the data path. Doing this accelerates control operations by enabling them to run on a dedicated server, while accelerating data access by freeing the data path from the congestion of metadata operations.

Achieving Acrobatic Agility

It is crucial for enterprises to have agile datacenters that can adapt quickly as data demands change. This can be a huge challenge for a new CIO who has inherited legacy infrastructure.

Silos are a root cause of datacenter inflexibility. Whether data is being promoted from development into production, upgraded to a higher performance storage system to support new workloads, or retired to more cost-effective storage, the process of moving data between storage types without affecting business is expensive, time-consuming and laborious.

A number of new solution categories have emerged to address symptoms of inflexibility without tackling the origin of the problem. For example, hyperconverged systems aim to meet changing data needs through automatic tiering and centralized management. As hyperconverged systems frequently require proprietary hardware, this limits customer choice and increases costs, and adds just another larger silo for enterprises to manage. Hyperconverged systems also typically combine the control path and the data path, which limits scalability too much for many enterprise use cases.

DataSphere improves datacenter agility by placing data across different storage types as needs change. And this mobility can happen automatically with policies based on Smart Objectives. For example, data that is hot or cold, or that matches a particular file type, can be automatically moved to higher or lower performance storage, without disruption to business operations.

DataSphere also offers visibility into the actual application experience. This makes it possible for policies to be expressed in terms that application owners understand. It also enables IT professionals to craft policies that are based on how the data infrastructure as a whole is affecting the application, as opposed to, say, the bandwidth the storage device is delivering up until the data hits the network. When these actions happen automatically, expensive data migrations become history, and IT can focus on other strategic tasks that add more value to the business.

Reducing Costs by Increasing Infrastructure Utilization

The cost to support the data sprawl that results from growing and maintaining an enterprise of different storage systems is enormous. Indeed, for many companies, it’s becoming unsustainable.  Solutions that do not solve the storage silo problem cannot effectively slow the sprawl and reduce datacenter costs. In fact, since many of these solutions are deployed on proprietary hardware, many enterprises might find costs actually increase.

DataSphere objectives protect the end user experience while greatly reducing datacenter costs. Most data access follows the Pareto principle, meaning 20% of the data attracts up to 80% of the access. DataSphere frees significant capacity from the enterprise’s most expensive and often most overprovisioned storage resources to deliver an immediate ROI. DataSphere also dramatically cuts operating costs, including IT overhead for upgrades and migrations, as well as datacenter footprint to reduce power and floor space requirements. In addition, DataSphere’s storage-agnostic architecture ensures enterprises the flexibility to choose the best storage, at the right price point, when it is actually needed. Finally, DataSphere delivers linear scaling of performance and capacity, which makes future growth predictable and easier to budget.

Sayonara, Silos

DataSphere solves one of the primary sources of pain in the modern datacenter by eliminating the longstanding problem of storage silos. It ensures that enterprises can meet diverse business demands by automating data movement as business needs evolve, placing data on the right storage for its needs based on its actual usage. By eliminating the need to maintain separate storage silos, enterprises can greatly improve datacenter resource utilization to dramatically reduce capital and operating costs, finally making it possible for CIOs to overcome today’s daunting challenges with their existing storage while saving budget to support future growth.

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