Organizations now operate in what Cisco refers to as “The Zettabyte Era” of big data. By the end of 2016, Cisco’s analysts predict we will pass the zettabyte threshold in annual global IP traffic, and by 2019, global Internet traffic will be 66 times the volume of the entire global Internet (as it existed in 2005). If your maximum capacity is closer to Petabytes than Terabytes, it’s time to shift your thinking forward.
Exponential data growth is a given. As global organizations adopt more Internet of Things (IoT) devices, enormous volumes of streaming data have become a part of business. As an IT leader, your task is to ensure your IT infrastructure is up to the job: For many companies the best solution is to build an infrastructure that resembles Voltron (in all of his giant super robot glory). In other words, combining multiple solutions for data management, recovery and other mission-critical objectives can be important to success in the months and years to come.
Understanding the Impact of the Current Data Boom
Neuroscience can offer important clues to how the current data boom could impact your existing infrastructure. At any age, the human brain’s ability to retain and process information effectively is limited. “If you learn more unnecessary things, then there is a risk of replacing important … information in the brain,” states Neuroscience Researcher Takeo Watanabe. An influx of data on an infrastructure could act similarly.
If your IT infrastructure is over capacity, your end result could be harmful data replication or poor access to mission-critical assets. No organization wants to deal with an aging infrastructure that acts similarly to an aging human brain, which can include “forgetting” data — that cannot be recovered satisfactorily — or dealing with extraordinarily slow processing speeds that make retrieval and throughput close to impossible.
Infrastructure Tools and Tactics for Success
An IT infrastructure built for the data demands of the last decade simply isn’t sufficient for today’s needs. Organizations must invest in new solutions, and this action has led to a meteoric increase in average spending worldwide. We’re now in the midst of what IDC refers to as a “rich ecosystem of new and incumbent suppliers” for software and infrastructure, which allows companies to build a Voltron-type infrastructure that’s ready for the boom. By 2019, our global data-related infrastructure market is estimated to be worth $48.6 billion.
Properly sized storage capacity can be a first crucial step to success in revising an infrastructure, since without the ability to handle sufficient data, organizations can risk retention issues similar to what’s been observed in neuroscience research. Literal upgrades to the “brain” of your infrastructure, to ensure sufficient input/output (I/O) and throughput processes, can be crucial to effective data retrieval and analysis.
Organizations must also look to larger secondary storage options for their burgeoning assets. In addition to increased bandwidth, having backup windows and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can protect costly asset loss in case of emergency. Your recovery plan must be well-defined and able to stand up to periodic testing procedures.
The risks of an IT infrastructure unprepared for the current data boom can be immense, and an infrastructure that operates over capacity can result in critical asset loss, poor processing ability and a host of other costly issues. As IT leaders, we must look toward Voltron and the future, to build an infrastructure with sufficient storage capacity, I/O, throughput and recovery capabilities.
Author: Dale Janda, Disaster Recovery & Storage Practice Manager