Four signs your storage needs to move to Open Source Software from SUSE

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When it comes to data storage volumes, as soul singer Otis Clay said in 1980, ‘the only way is up’. A few years back enterprises were grappling with more and more transactional data, pretty much all of it structured RDBMS, you had growth, but it was steady and relatively simple. Not so today, as we have more and more data from more and more devices – its not just computers making data in the modern era. Far from it.

We have data from mobile devices, unstructured data like social analytics and video (with its ever increasing pixel density), and now, the imminent arrival of data from the IoT (Internet of Things) is likely to have a – literally- staggering impact:- IDC’s Digital Universe Study predicts a staggering 10x growth from now by 2020. If you’re struggling with volumes now, think ahead to what its going to be like in a few years’ time, and ask yourself this question: is your current architecture going to cope? Chances are you’re going to say ‘no’, and maybe ask also – ‘who the hell is going to cope?’. Now that’s a fair question to which relatively enterprises are confident of the answer.

Whilst all organisations have problems to some degree or other, some unarguably have it worse than others – the UK NHS for example does upwards of 40m MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans every year, each one a minimum of 2GB of data. Every year there are more scans, and data is held onto for longer for analytics that can – and will – improve diagnosis and patient outcomes. Companies storing CCTV footage regularly upgrade their cameras and so are forced to upgrade their storage. Utility companies have more and more data from sensors – even farms, which are now run by software acting on data from sensors are generating vast volumes of data (the self-driving tractor is a long way ahead of the self-driving car even if the law keeps the farmer in the cab!).

Whatever type of organisation you work for, there are four clear signs that you should be thinking about moving to an open source software defined storage platform like SUSE enterprise:

#1 MONEY: You’re experiencing problems with cost.  With many organisations finding 25% plus per annum a ‘normal’ growth rate, and many more about to find this is the case in the near future, paying the additional hardware, software and maintenance cost is an issue.

#2. END OF LIFE problems: ‘Forklift’ upgrades are increasing in frequency as you outgrow your existing appliances, thus generating downtime which in turn generates friction with the business (just like on London Transport even ‘planned upgrade works’ are an annoying interruption).

#3. SERVICE TO THE BUSINESS: it’s a struggle to meet your end user SLAs. You’re regularly breaking your agreement with the business – maybe you’re moving to digital and that is shortening your backup window as systems need to be permanently online – and generate data 24/7

#4 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: you’ve got lots of remote offices and replicating data across multiple sites is becoming a problem – often a problem you just have to fix because regulation gets tighter and tighter every year, and requirements for rapid retrieval are rendering your tape archive obsolete.

Cynics might note that the above four issues between them cover just about every large enterprise and a healthy chunk of SMEs. That’s no mistake: it’s just what the future looks like.

The good news is that help is at hand. You can make a huge dent in your software licensing costs by moving to open source software defined storage. You can slash hardware costs by moving to commodity x86 servers. You can avoid forklift upgrades altogether by using an approach that allows you to add as many nodes as you like – infinite scalability without downtime. You can kiss goodbye to missed backup windows by keeping more on disk, and you can distribute data all over the globe – anywhere you’ve got a footprint.

Alternatively, you could keep doing what Einstein defined as madness: the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results.

 

 

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