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The tall order for data storage

When it comes to the data center one trend that everyone seems to be dealing with is the growth of the data they are keeping and backing up. Adding to the issue of data growth are new government regulations on how this data needs to be maintained; number of copies, on site versus off site, length of time before it can be deleted, etc. This is evidenced by the growth of storage capacity sold, new technology dealing with Big Data, deduplication capability in storage and the growth of cloud.

There is so much happening in the storage industry today it is difficult for IT managers to keep up with and understand the ramifications of these technologies and how best to implement them in their environment. These managers are being pushed by their executive management to store more information, back it up regularly, maintain the appropriate copies for the appropriate timeframe, have a DR plan in place and to make sure the information is available on a 24×7 basis. However, in most cases, they are being asked to do this while their budgets and headcounts are stagnant or in many cases shrinking. This is a tall order.

So what can these managers do to get a handle on the situation and create an environment that not only supports the issues of today but provides for future growth and requirements? OnX has developed a process for doing just this! It is a four stage process that can transform the storage environment from what it is today to an architecture that not only meets current business requirements but provides a roadmap for the future.

The process is Discover, Assess, Design, and Implement.

It starts with the Discovery Workshop which is designed to gather the information necessary to understand what the current environment is and what the business needs are. Once these are understood and mapped against each other, the gaps are identified.

Then the Assessment will take this information and determine what technologies and capabilities are available in the industry that would help to fill those gaps. The assessment will also dive deeper into the current planned projects and future expectations of the business.

Next, the Design phase is used to develop an appropriate architecture that provides the functionality required by the business for today and the future. This is done from an agnostic viewpoint to ensure that the final design meets all requirements. Once the architecture is complete the equipment selection is performed which provides the outline and budgetary requirements needed for the new storage environment.

Finally, the Implementation phase will be used to install and configure the new storage environment based on the design. This will create a storage environment that meets the business needs and provides the appropriate run time processes and procedures that are turned over to the operations group.

While these concepts can help transform your environment the key to success is finding the right tools, knowledge and experience to perform these task properly.

Mike Janson, CTO Strategist, National Storage, OnX