This year several new data storage technologies are playing a vital role in transforming data centers everywhere. From solid-state storage to snap shot backups and cloud storage the face and feel of data centers will be changing.
- Price drops for all-flash arrays have bolstered sales for flash systems. Demand comes from the ever-increasing need for greater and greater speeds. Solid state drives or SSD arrays offer a way to get the greatest amount of storage performance into the smallest possible form at the cheapest cost. A lot of new start-ups have entered the market and driven down prices. SSD arrays will be especially useful for data environments that rely on applications that require sustained high performance. As prices continue to drop and the efficiency of SSD arrays increases SSD flash arrays will expand from niche markets, and become more prevalent in traditional enterprise applications and ultimately replace spinning disk systems.
- Snapshot backups are playing an important role in modernizing data protection. Array based snapshots offer a rapid recovery strategy and with the integration of snapshot and backup this technology is becoming a hot item because it enables users to rethink information differently- especially how, when and the type of information that will be protected. By marrying snapshot technology with the management capabilities of backup software it takes advantage of the best attributes and aspects of each by helping users meet backup windows faster as well as recover data faster. Snapshot backups also allow for the more rapid system data restoration than using a traditional backup.
- The third important technology to play a pivotal role in transforming data centers is the advent of cloud-based disaster recovery. Cloud-based disaster recovery is gaining momentum for small and medium sized businesses as well as enterprise companies. Cloud-based disaster recovery makes it easy for an organization to ship copies of its data to a cloud storage service inexpensively. With virtual servers in the cloud, it is easy and quick to stand up a new server to access stored data in the event the local operations of a business are disrupted. Another benefit of cloud disaster recovery through an outside vendor is that there is not a need to construct and maintain the IT infrastructure needed to support a disaster recovery plan and that saves small companies and organizations a lot of money and staff resources. Although there are still some issues to be resolved about how data needs to be stored and replicated to the cloud, cloud-based disaster recovery provides an affordable secondary backup and recovery solution. As this technology matures it is likely to become the primary form of backup and disaster recovery data storage.
- Like Cloud-based disaster recovery, cloud-based file sharing and synchronization services are growing rapidly driven by the exponential growth of mobile workers using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Businesses need the flexibility to have employees collaborate and access documents stored on desktop or laptops from any location at any time. Cloud-based online file sharing and syncing services can be deployed using one of three basic models: Public, private or hybrid models. Vendors also offer a software license that allows users to install their own hardware behind the firewall to ensure complete security. With a public implementation the provider assumes full responsibility for the service. In a hybrid model there is on-premises file sharing with a public cloud file-sharing service. With cloud-file sharing companies can often benefit from reducing or eliminating on-premises file servers reducing virtual network costs (VPN) and finding ways to manage geographically remote employees.
- Server-based flash cache is another simple but revolutionary addition to boosting storage performance. By putting the cache in the application server instead of the storage system, latency is reduced. What makes it popular is that it is a simple addition to a server that doesn’t require and application changes or changes to back-end storage systems. How this technology matures may affect how well the technology functions with third party storage systems. It may be that server-based flash caches work best only with the same vendor’s storage system which may limit the popularity and usefulness of this technology.
These five data storage technologies are clearly changing the way data is stored and shared and it is transforming the way data centers are constructed and managed. The author has worked in IT and business for many years. She also writes professionally and enjoys writing and blogging about the technology sector in her spare time.