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Taming the Digital Universe

May 25, 2010 - 1 Comment

“The Digital Universe will double every 18 months.  It is probably safe to say that the challenges for enterprise IT organizations will more than double every year.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                             ~  IDC  Digital Universe White Paper

 According to IDC, the only growth rate that hasn’t gone negative in this recession is the creation of digital information.  For proof, just examine your daily routine – you create documents, send texts and emails, all while IM’ing and capturing your “Kodak moments” throughout the day.   The amount of enterprise application data created and stored per sec is growing exponentially, with no slowdown forecast any time soon. So the question is not, is there going to be less data?  The question is: how will you manage, access, secure and  intelligently share data?    

 In a combined EMC multimedia paper, IDC has defined the rate at which the “Digital Universe” expands along with the challenges IT organizations face to manage their storage needs.   Analyzing the graph below, it becomes evident  it is not just the “growth”, but that growth in specific data types that require focused IT attention.   It is not just plain old ‘one size fits all” data management any more:  IT professionals need to be savvy about life cycle management of specialized data in digital universe, which is expanding more rapidly than our universe.

Storage admin challenges can be divided into two main buckets:

1) Transporting data to and from disk  (i.e., dealing with data in motion)
Security,  encryption bandwidth,  transport protocols (FC, iSCSI, FCoE), management and performance are key challenges.

2) Storing data for later retrieval (i.e., dealing with data at rest)
Security, access control, tiered storage for cost optimization, volume management, and  regulatory compliance are key challenges.



 According to a study by The Infopro (Q4 2009), managing storage growth is noted as the  top pain points for storage admins.  Choosing the right architecture and solutions can alleviate some of these pain points.


Your Options –

 To tame your “Digital Universe”, an intelligent SAN is vital to meet those storage needs.  Essential for seamless storage growth, an intelligent SAN provides a scalable platform with  built-in services to transport data efficiently.  An intelligent SAN provides a secure, predictable high performance SAN fabric, which is crucial to overall application performance.  Thus before you jump into a storage project, ask yourself the following questions : 

  • Do you need high performance SAN for your consolidation needs?
    If yes, you need a high density SAN with scalable architecture
  • Do you have large Virtual Machine environments?  
    If yes, you need a VM Optimized SAN to support per VM requirements
  • Does your business need to dynamically address business needs? 
    If yes, you need a multi protocol architecture to support your current and future needs (FC, FCoE and iSCSI)
  • Do you want to achieve business agility: Rapid service creation?  
    If yes, you need Network Based Services with plug and play style, i.e., Service-Oriented SANs.

 Your decision is no longer just about pure connectivity and speeds and feeds anymore – that alone will not help you with your “Digital Universe”.

  • You need a platform that is highly predictable in performance, even when you scale your storage.
  • You need a platform that can provide any service – such as encryption, compression, security, etc. –  to any device at any speed regardless of its location in the fabric, i.e., a Service-Oriented SAN.
  • You need a platform optimized for Virtual Machine environments offering per-VM mobility, security, performance and management, all of which are essential for scaling Storage in virtualized data centers.

 Don’t limit yourself — you can use any combination of SAN protocols — FC,  FCoE and/or iSCSI — for your SAN connectivity!    The question is not about FC or FCoE – it is about their co-existence in the same unified fabric to support the growth of your digital universe.   Utilizing all protocols in one network can help to scale to meet your storage needs and enable a rapid service delivery model.   The Digital Universe is expanding, and if you are not yet prepared, this is the right time to get started.    

 Tony Antony
Sr. Marketing Manager






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  1. And this impressive increase of amount of generated data will certainly bring these concerns for almost everyone in the near future, im wondering how people will manage their personal data storage.