Big Data: Big Decisions

Over recent years the digital world has exploded and the use of IT in day-to-day life has increased exponentially. According to a study carried out by IBM, we produce 2.5 quintillion (2,500,000,000,000,000,000) bytes of data everyday, leading to volumes of data that we have never experienced before. This comes as a result of information being constantly monitored and measured, which then creates a surge of more unstructured data. According to the IDC, the amount of information created, captured or replicated in 2007 exceeded the available storage for the first time.

In relation to enterprises, overseeing the expansion of storage space and ensuring that data is adequately backed up and securely protected has become a huge task. Some environments now consist of hundreds or even billions of small files.  How can we overcome this problem? Is it possible to create an IT infrastructure that is able to support and protect these big data realities?

Unfortunately, the traditional approach of buying more storage, i.e. tapes or disk, simply does not work. This method of data management results in exorbitant costs and increased manual intervention by IT teams. This not only causes various inefficiencies across the entire enterprise but also limits the potential of controlling large amounts of data.

Meanwhile, the data growth explosion is not slowing down. Researchers say that the volume of digital data is growing at a rate of 40-60% per year. Moreover, a survey carried out by Gartner in November 2010, found that almost half of the respondents ranked growth as one of their three biggest daily challenges. Subsequently, the drive for backup needs is increasing, exerting a greater need for a next generation IT infrastructure. In order to do this, enterprises need to pick a vendor that knows big data and a backup solution based on big data needs.

A longstanding option for organisations that is now becoming more common is to virtualise their assets in order to protect them by migrating them to a virtual environment. In doing so, organisations can take advantage of the benefits of centralised data management such as centralised backup and replication. Users, and partners, can access the same data set from different locations. Smart data management gives enterprises many additional benefits when it comes to big data. Even though access to the data is distributed, the data is better protected since its management is centralised. Furthermore, it is easily recoverable and all accessible locally to data analysis tools, which allows IT teams to enjoy more flexibility and frees up time for them to focus on other initiatives. This method also has enormous cost savings.

In the face of the data growth explosion, is your business struggling to protect its data?

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