When it comes to IT infrastructure, such as servers, networking, and storage, IT managers often overlook the importance of storage. Compared to other hardware, storage appliances generally work diligently and quietly in the background, requiring little in the way of maintenance or attention.
Thus, it's no surprise businesses neglect their storage in the absence of performance or capacity issues, dedicating even less consideration on how to scale up storage. In today's highly digitized world, storage proves more important than ever, and necessitates a preemptive, rather than reactive, measure.
Take a look at five business-centric reasons IT managers should consider upgrading their storage:
1. Meet the demand for more storage
Though cloud-based storage services are now part and parcel of IT, a variety of considerations relating to compliance, data privacy, and security means private storage isn't going away anytime soon.
If demand for data storage continues on its projected high-growth trajectory, a substantial proportion of this data will work its way into a private cloud or on-premise hardware, so existing storage capacity will eventually prove inadequate in the absence of any action to scale it up. Better to upgrade now than risk a lack of storage—thus impacting business operations—later.
2. Reduce risk by upgrading early
Though not obvious to outsiders, data migration comes with the risk of data loss caused by mistakes or unanticipated complications. You can mitigate these risks with adequate planning and preparation, which serves as a compelling argument for IT managers to scale up storage for their organizations sooner rather than later.
Starting early ensures your ability to keep any risks stemming from a hardware upgrade to the bare minimum.
3. Avoid poor storage performance
While poor storage performance directly affects your employees' ability to access or store data from storage appliances, you should also understand that storage can trigger unpredictable performance in business applications, including mission-critical tasks.
Slowdowns can sap the productivity and effectiveness of critical business apps created and tested with certain baseline assumptions in mind. Moreover, due to the highly intermittent nature of issues caused by poor storage performance, IT managers can expect to spend substantial time and energy identifying and diagnosing these elusive problems.
4. Move away from legacy storage
Legacy storage appliances likely rely on the use of a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) for data protection, which generally works well with smaller arrays. Unfortunately, traditional RAID implementations don't scale well for today's multi-terabyte disk drives, due to their overheads and lengthy rebuild times.
Depending on their specific requirements and budgets, businesses looking to scale up storage can buy into a new generation of dedicated storage hardware that allows organizations to deploy their storage without the traditional limitations and still provides full hardware redundancy and native high availability.
5. Set the stage to scale out
An initiative to scale up storage for a business can also serve as an opportunity to roll out a cutting-edge scale-out storage deployment, which breaks the interdependence between performance and capacity imposed by legacy storage appliances.
For example, scale-out architectures, such as a software-defined storage solution, create a storage fabric, making it trivial to dramatically scale capacity up and down due to the ability to add and remove nodes within the system.
So, what's the bottom line? By dedicating time and attention to developing your storage architecture within your IT infrastructure, you can grow your business in unexpected ways. Scaling up and out as needed can keep your business running smoothly and efficiently, as well, so make sure you don't neglect this important aspect of your technology environment.