Overcoming Data Ignorance

Michael Vizard

One of the biggest challenges with the way IT departments manage data is that all data tends to get treated equally. That means instead of trying to figure out what data is the most important to the business, we wind up storing all data on the same storage arrays regardless of the cost of the array or the value of the data.

Fortunately, with the advent of cloud computing and a desire to drive down the cost of data storage, IT organizations everywhere are finally addressing this issue. This is especially important because as server costs have declined thanks to virtualization, the only place left to make additional cuts is in the storage budgets.

Unfortunately, while the cost per terabyte of storage continues to decline, the volume of data that needs to be managed continues to increase. The end result is that the storage budget continues to increase even as the price per terabyte continues to fall.

Peter Mehta, CEO of SANpulse, a provider of analytics tools for storage environments, says these issues are driving a lot more interest in tools that first help IT organizations discover what type of data is where, and then create a blueprint for finding the most cost-effective place to store that data based on its value to the business.

In addition, Mehta said IT organizations are a lot more anxious about showing specific business units the true cost of data storage in their organization. To that end, Mehta says the SANpulse tools are designed to expose every data storage dependency from the application all the way down to specific spindles on an individual disk drive.

Data storage is increasingly reaching a threshold of pain within most enterprises where it's no longer a matter of whether something will be done about it. But given the fact that most IT organizations are blind to where their data is stored, it follows that they can't see the true costs of managing that data.

Unless IT organizations take the time to discover where that data is and how much of it there is, no effort to modernize IT systems by embracing either public or private cloud computing architectures is ever going to make a substantial difference in terms of lowering the total cost of enterprise computing.

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