Maintaining Control of All That Data

When you examine the major trends sweeping the data center — from virtualization and cloud computing to network consolidation and SSDs — they all center around one overriding problem: the explosive growth of data.

The latest research from Gartner bears this out. When asked to identify their biggest hardware infrastructure challenges heading into the new year, nearly half (47 percent) of large-enterprise respondents flagged data growth among the top three. System performance/scalability and network congestion were the next most popular answers, although it can be argued that both of these are reactions to the central dilemma of how to handle ever-increasing data loads. In fact, data growth is also linked to a wide range of issues that are driving up capex and opex costs across both hardware and software infrastructures.

Of course, what’s bad news for data centers is good news for data reduction and management firms. In the same survey, more than 60 percent of respondents said they plan to up their investment in archiving and management technologies, putting these categories on par with security and systems consolidation in terms of importance.

As the market for management solutions heats up, however, expect to see a wide variety of approaches hitting the channel, making it difficult to settle upon the right solution for your particular data environment. New bundled packages like Noetix Corp.’s NoetixView and Solix Technologies’ Enterprise Data Management Solution (EDMS) are looking to broaden their reach into various data architectures — in this case production and archive systems, but only for Oracle E-Business Suite users — offering a streamlined data lifecycle management stack that can be easily integrated into leading business intelligence (BI) platforms.

You should also expect the size and complexity of management systems to increase along with the data environment. CommVault recently unveiled the new Simpana 9 system, capable of handling the most demanding environments. The system features new tools like collaborative sharing and simplified legal preservation, all governed by a relatively simple user interface that hides much of the digital gymnastics taking place behind the scenes. Enterprises can pick and choose among a set of data management features through a series of software modules that can be brought online as requirements change. The company even has a FastPass regimen designed to simplify migration from legacy solutions.

Like water, data is a vital component in the health of any enterprises. But like water, too much data can induce death by drowning. The key is to find your footing on a firm platform that allows you to manipulate the flow around you while giving you a clear view of the horizon.

Enterprises that accomplish this feat most effectively will not only stay afloat, but will be the first to discover new lands.

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