File data is growing so quickly that it is difficult for enterprise storage managers to keep up. A larger volume and greater variety of files is being stored across a range of locations and devices. At the same time, it is being accessed by a highly distributed user base. For very large enterprises, millions of files may need to be stored and accessed by millions of users.
A lack of comprehensive visibility into what data is being stored and how that data is being used creates resource inefficiencies and adds security vulnerabilities as well as the risk of not complying with data privacy regulations. This “data blindness” also might cause the enterprise to miss out on revenue-generating opportunities. As a result, comprehensive and real-time visibility into metadata that goes beyond standard insights, such as file name, into performance analytics is becoming a necessity to understand system bottlenecks and obtain usage visibility.
Storage managers can apply more sophisticated metadata insights to facilitate automated alerts and actions as systems run low on capacity and as applications begin to under-perform required service level agreements (SLAs), requiring an action such as network optimization. Furthermore, they can obtain visibility into data traffic and usage patterns. For example, they can better understand the users that are generating the most input/output (I/O) traffic and throughput – as well as which data is being accessed, how frequently it is being accessed, and by whom it is being accessed. With the addition of machine learning, this analytics insight can become predictive, providing the next step in the form of forward-looking infrastructure planning support. It can also help the enterprise to understand which data is most valuable and which data is less critical, to support more informed retention and management decisions.
There are too many nodes, clusters, locations and files for storage administrators to be able to manage manually. Centralized metadata-driven visibility and automation of day-to-day management functions, such as storage provisioning and chargeback across the storage environment, is required for infrastructure optimization, risk mitigation and maximized data utilization to support competitive advantage. Storage managers should look for these capabilities to be built into their next-generation file storage solution, to avoid purchasing additional software licenses and to obtain comprehensive visibility. For more on how to re-think your NAS approach to address modern file data demands, access Storage Switzerland’s recent Lightboard Video in collaboration with Qumulo.