SlideShare: Dealing with the Elephant in the Datacenter – How to Protect, Manage, and Leverage Unstructured Data

IT is facing new challenges in managing unstructured data. Organizations want to store more unstructured data and keep it longer for future analysis. However, the protection and retention methods of traditional backup and archive solutions are not keeping pace with new volumes of unstructured data, nor are they able to meet new business expectations. Given the growth in terms of quantity, total capacity, and criticality of unstructured data, IT needs to fundamentally change how it protects, manages, and leverages unstructured data.

Join Storage Switzerland and Igneous for this on demand webinar where we dive into the results of a recent survey on the impact of unstructured data management and its challenges on organizations. During the webinar, we discuss best practices that organizations like yours can implement to effectively manage the unstructured data elephant.

Key Webinar Takeaways

  • The True Value of Unstructured Data
  • The Challenges Unstructured Data Creates
  • Best Practices for Protection, Management, and Monetization

Webinar Background

In the past, data protection focused primarily on protecting databases. Completing database backups quickly was critical. At the time, the amount of unstructured data was relatively small, consisting mostly of user created office productivity files stored in home directories on a NAS or file server.

Why Do We Have an Unstructured Data Problem?

Unstructured data first started to grow when those same users started creating larger, more content rich documents that either were or contained images, video, and audio. As modern machines and applications (design automation software, video post-processing tools, electron microscopy) started creating data, this problem grew exponentially. Enormous numbers of files are generated every hour. Sometimes these files are very small, making them hard to manage per TB. Sometimes they’re very large, leading to astronomical data volumes. Worse still, a mix of file sizes can make backup processes unpredictable and hard to optimize.

In order to gather the full value from this data and the people and applications that create it, today’s IT needs to make it easy to search and retrieve the data, as well as move it through the analytics pipeline effectively.

The Impact of Unstructured Data Growth

The growth of user data, combined with the rapid growth rate of machine- and application-generated data, means that organizations often exceed the capacity of their unstructured data storage systems. IT requires cost-effective, massively scalable systems. The need to analyze this data in the future increases its value, making protecting unstructured data even more critical. Analyzing unstructured data also means that not only is it necessary to store and protect this data, it also needs to be accessible and searchable.

Current backup software solutions and secondary storage hardware can’t scale to meet the demand. Archive systems, if the organization uses them at all, often create a separate storage silo, which further increases costs and management complexity. To work around the issue, organizations continue to over-invest in expensive primary storage, attempting to keep all data on it with high levels of redundancy, hoping that they have just enough secondary protection.

The Elephant in the Room

The elephant in the room is not unstructured data. Rather, it is the weakness of the secondary storage architecture. The secondary storage architecture counts on legacy software and hardware designs to deal with a very modern problem. The goal of this webinar, survey, and white paper is to arm enterprise IT with the insight it needs to address the unstructured data elephant, improving an organization’s ability to protect, manage, and leverage unstructured data.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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