Value of Data Needs to Dictate Storage Strategy

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Changing the Way You Purchase Storage

Ensure that IT has the flexibility to build and efficiently run a shared infrastructure.

As the sheer volume of data that needs to be managed continues to grow exponentially, IT organizations can no longer afford to treat all data equally. For more years than anyone cares to admit, IT organizations have been throwing storage capacity at data. But now that it's become clear that data volumes are only going to continue to grow exponentially even in a weak economy, many IT organizations are now looking for a smarter way to manage storage.

Case in point is The Coriell Institute for Medical Research, which does genetics research related to DNA sequencing. According to Coriell Institute CIO Scott Megill, the institute is migrating to an IBM XIV storage system because it provides his organization with a grid architecture that on the one hand makes it easy to scale out storage, while on the other hand it gives his organization the tools they need to move data that isn't being regularly accessed to more inexpensive forms of storage.

The challenge, says Megill, is that to really make that strategy work, IT leaders have to work with the business to identify what data really is strategic to the business. Once that data is identified, it then becomes a matter of coming up with the policies that give that data priority access to primary storage systems while moving the bulk of the company's information to slower, less expensive secondary storage or in some cases simply archiving it for very occasional use in the future.

While there's no doubt that a rapid growth in data is threatening to overwhelm the IT budget, in most cases this issue can be addressed simply by being smarter about how data is stored and managed. After all, in an era where the cost per terabyte of storage continues to drop, the total percentage of the IT budget that will be consumed by storage is starting to get dangerously close to hampering what many IT organizations can actually afford to invest in elsewhere.