What is Storage Management?
Storage management is the way organizations deliver fast access to data while ensuring data integrity, policy and regulatory compliance, and efficient storage resource use. It involves developing a plan to provision, configure, back up, and monitor data storage infrastructure to maintain performance, prevent data loss, and quickly address problems.
Why do enterprises need storage management?
Fundamentally, storage management ensures that users have access to data when they need it. But more than that, data storage management has become increasingly central to the success of any enterprise as remote work, cloud services, and cybersecurity concerns have come to dominate the technology landscape. Managing storage can help improve computing performance and protect against data loss across geographic areas and users 24/7.
What are the qualities of good storage management?
Accommodating constantly changing needs and applications is a critical part of any enterprise’s operations and storage management figures prominently in it. An effective storage management strategy centralizes storage administration, providing one view over every storage system so your entire storage environment can function optimally. This unified approach also helps organizations right-size their storage capacity, scaling up and down as needed.
And as data volumes continue to grow, the data retention policy part of storage management can help organizations stay ahead of capacity needs and on top of costs.
Why is storage management important?
A good storage management program can give organizations an edge in accomplishing overall business goals. That’s because as data volumes, particularly unstructured data volumes, surge with the rising use of AI, machine learning, and IoT, an organization can quickly become overwhelmed in trying to process and use it all effectively. With storage concerns under control, enterprises can be more effective at creating solutions, serving customers, transporting goods: virtually anything that the company is in business to accomplish.
The following are reasons that storage management is critical to business operations:
- Performance: When storage is managed efficiently, it means that systems can respond quickly and data is readily available when needed.
- Access: With a global and remote workforce, demand on networks can vary widely. A solid storage management program can help keep the lines of access free from outdated and unnecessary information and ready to respond when needed.
- Compliance: Data retention decisions are inherent in storage management because these dictate capacity requirements. A clear data retention policy keeps an organization both in compliance with regulations and in control of storage demands.
- Disaster/threat recovery: Storage management also encompasses data protection, ensuring data is secure and backed up at all times.
What are different storage techniques?
Storage techniques range from old-school tape drives to discs with five dimensions for intense storage needs. When selecting between storage techniques, it’s most practical to take a fit-for-purpose approach.
1. Tape drives: A cheap, reliable storage option, tape drives last 30 years or longer and require little maintenance. They hold large quantities of data, but because the drives needed to read their content are pricy, it’s more budget-friendly to use tape drives for storing information that you rarely need to access, such as enterprise back-ups.
2. Hard disk drives (HDDs): With a low upfront cost, hard disk drives are adequate for most storage needs. An optical disk stores data with speeds from 5,400 to 7,000 RPM. While they cost relatively little, the data stored on them will only survive between three to five years.
3. Solid-state drives (SSDs): Quicker and more durable and long-lasting than HDDs, SSDs are compact options that use a series of flash memory to recall information. Their compact size and longer lifespan justify their selection in your storage portfolio.
4. Hybrid flash arrays: Combining HDDs and SSDs to balance performance, hybrid flash arrays capture the low cost of one and efficiency of the other in one method.
5. 5D data storage: Using fused quartz discs to encode data, 5D offers 360 TB of data in a tiny, durable package. What’s more, with 5D you can save information in three physical and two optical dimensions.
6. Cloud storage: While versatile, scalable, and ultra-accessible, cloud storage poses security concerns that must be carefully addressed in an enterprise’s data protection policies.
What are the benefits of storage management?
As workloads have become increasingly complex as well as broadly distributed across locations, establishing a data storage management system brings much-needed order to the business of adapting to change. In fact, the benefits of storage management are wide-ranging and contribute to the overall health of an organization.
- Performance improvement: For apps to perform well, the storage system supporting them must be in top shape. A storage management program systematizes maintenance and upgrade tasks for all storage devices regardless of location.
- Data protection: With constantly evolving security threats and regulations, organizations that utilize a storage management program have rigid protocols in place guarding each storage structure.
- Access consistency: As storage is better managed, user access can remain consistent despite fluctuations in demand. That’s because with a good storage management program, as data volumes rise, the system in place knows where and how to store the incoming data, sending it out of the traffic flow just as demand surges.
- Adaptability: With a good storage management strategy, scaling capacity up and down in response to fluctuating demand means that an organization can remain nimble and responsive.
- Cost-savings: By centralizing storage management, storage administrators can use resources more efficiently, responding with capacity on an as-needed basis rather than planning for and purchasing capacity in advance of a spike in demand.
- Easier administration: When a storage management program is in place, the centralization helps administrators keep track of multiple storage systems, leading to better resource utilization.
- Data compliance: A storage management strategy includes a data retention policy, which provides strict rules on how long to keep defined categories of data. This ensures that an organization complies with the regulations pertaining to the country where they operate.
What are the challenges of storage management?
As workloads become more complex and widely distributed, storage management implementation must address many challenges head on to keep an organization functioning. The following are the most pressing issues for storage management to address.
Matching data value to budget: Not every bit of data deserves equal storage accommodations, and knowing which deserves more costly housing requires some close analysis. Priority should be given to highly critical data that needs to be delivered quickly and is accessed frequently. That level of data deserves more expensive solid state and in-memory storage. Conversely, data that is seldom accessed can hang out on cheap cold storage drives. Organizing that storage cost structure is an important step in ensuring optimal performance at the lowest cost.
Aligning storage with overall IT infrastructure: If storage deployments aren’t carefully planned and allocated, applications and storage types may not line up for optimal performance. The wrong storage can slow down an application as easy as flipping a switch, so IT should directly supervise storage usage and deployment.
Eliminating waste: These days, IT application test beds almost entirely reside in the cloud to free up internal resources such as OS servers and storage for other in-house functions. That can mean that excess storage resources may remain on the cloud—at a price—after testing is completed because a developer forgot to de-provision them. Additionally, without regular data reviews, much information may be retained unnecessarily for things such as legal discoveries that never happen or unfiltered IoT data that amounts to “machine noise,” which is meaningless.
Staying ahead of security threats: Being prepared to close access to storage devices when a cyber threat emerges needs to be front and center in any storage management program.
Ensuring sufficient resources: Despite their best planning, enterprises can easily run out of storage and compute resources in a fast-paced market. Storage management that’s quickly adaptable can help reduce the impact of insufficient storage on core business applications and systems.
HPE and storage management
With data the life-force of the modern enterprise, seamlessly storing, serving, and protecting data across the business has become critical. Effective storage management can be the difference between reaping the benefits of data-first transformation and getting bogged down in the silos and complexity of a typical IT environment. That’s why it’s so important to procure modern IT storage management that eliminates storage silos, scale-out limitations, app disruptions, and ongoing management complexity.
HPE GreenLake storage products enable organizations to unlock agility and dramatically simplify on-premises storage management with an intuitive, AI-driven cloud operational experience. Run any app without compromise, maximize efficiency at scale, and rest easy knowing your data is protected:
HPE GreenLake for Block Storage and HPE GreenLake for File Storage are perfect for powering data-intensive workloads like AI and analytics, and they run on common HPE Alletra Storage MP hardware with a unified cloud experience.
HPE GreenLake for Private Cloud Business Edition offers a self-service cloud, on demand, wherever you need it. Now you can simply and effortlessly manage VMs across hybrid cloud – on-prem, in data centers, in co-lo’s, or at the edge. Again, you enjoy a unified cloud experience.
HPE GreenLake for Backup and Recovery is SaaS-based data protection that delivers simple and efficient backup, recovery, and ransomware protection for every backup SLA across your hybrid cloud.
HPE GreenLake for Disaster Recovery provides simple, unified, edge-to-cloud disaster recovery, protecting data across multisite deployments and VMware workloads, delivered as a service.