Today’s Data must be Mobile

Data mobility was once the stuff of dreams – but no more. The days of data a user creates, manages, and eventually deletes living all in one place are no more. Data management applications that acknowledge this are the new frontier.

Data used to be as permanently resident as a family and their homestead. Like the homestead farmer that had to carefully select the perfect spot for his house, application architects had to decide carefully where their application was to run. The reason was the homesteader — like the data — was likely to remain in the same location for a long time. Easily migrating data from one storage platform to another was about as easy as moving a log cabin; it was painful, cost a lot, and it made people question whether they should do it.

Then came storage migration tools. At first, they provided migration only between similar storage devices, or at best between different storage devices from the same vendor. But third, party data migration tools began to take shape, and eventually data no longer had to remain on a particular storage platform just because that’s where it was originally placed.

Enter the public cloud. Suddenly there was an even greater demand to seamlessly move data between platforms. From project migration to disaster recovery needs, there was suddenly a viable place to locate data in a completely different location – even if only for a little while. Add to that the proliferation of flash and hybrid storage platforms in today’s data centers and today’s system architects have a vast array of choices of where to place data.

Just as our cities are scaling to serve more people, there are now “apartments” for data. Not everybody has to build their own log cabin and stay there for life. You can temporarily or permanently locate your data in a public cloud data center, spinning disk, or flash storage in a data center. Being able to automatically move data between these various places is the true key to data mobility. Modern applications acknowledge this shift in how to manage data and assist application administrators in easily moving it between platforms.

In the end, it’s about mobility. So many people think very little about where they make their first home or what their first car is. They’ll just get an apartment and take Uber. System architects are the same way. As long as they can easily migrate between platforms and their data is protected no matter what platform they choose, why should they have to put a lot of thought into what platform they place a given application for the first time?

Some thought should be put into the decision, of course, but if IT ultimately decides another platform is better for that application, today’s system architects think nothing of making such a move. And the economics and performance implications of that move mean that they should be able to easily do so.

StorageSwiss Take

Today’s applications are indeed as mobile as people are today. Public cloud providers are the apartment landlords of technology and flash storage is a sexy new sports car, but the cloud gives Uber-like flexibility when needed. With proper data mobility, it can be incredibly easy to start building an application in one platform, automatically migrate it to another one based on application needs, and ultimately move it into a different platform as its final resting place if that makes sense for that application. Today’s data management applications need to take mobility into consideration and ensure that this process is made easy.

Sponsored by Primary Data

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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One comment on “Today’s Data must be Mobile
  1. […] If your data and applications are only available inside our office, their value and utility are severely limited. Staff who are traveling to meet with clients, work off-site, or attend a conference have to essentially “pack” their data with them, or make do with the limited data they are able to access remotely. Given all the other advances in mobility that have appeared over the last decade, today’s IT must make mobility a priority. […]

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