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Storage Should Not be Treated Like an Unloved Part of IT


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Storage should be a strategic IT concern -- but there are many reasons why it isn’t. First, storage is comparatively cheap -- and easy to add if you have to increase it during a budget year. Second, storage is often included in new systems that IT purchases, so it doesn't have much cost visibility. Third, when IT needs to scale, the scalability argument is for systems and networks. Storage is seldom part of the conversation.

Yet, with data management and digitalization assuming major roles in IT project work, the pressure on storage is immense.

This begins with the versatile (and new) roles that storage is playing in IT architecture.

At its most minute level, you can now find storage on some SoCs (systems on a chip) that are used in edge processing -- or if storage is not directly on the SoC, on chips that contain RAM and standard storage. The most common example of this is the smartphone, but it can also be other edge devices.

From there, storage spreads itself across SAN and NAS networks that distribute its use at the edges of enterprises, and in centralized data centers. In these configurations, storage can appear as either a straight disk or as a file server. Regardless of how it is implemented, storage must be allocated based upon the types of applications in the network it supports.

Finally, there is large-scale storage in data centers and in the cloud -- and a hierarchy of storage that ranges from very slow, cold drives for seldom accessed data to in-memory and solid-state storage that is used to process rapid transactions in high-demand, real-time data environments.

Because storage needs and technologies have diversified greatly over the past 20 years, it makes sense to enact an IT strategy that coalesces with overall IT architecture planning.

“Having a good data storage strategy in place is no longer a luxury for today's organizations,” wrote Kal Rana, Sr. Solutions Architect at vxchange. “Data storing management is more important than ever, largely because the ability to derive actionable insights from data is often a key differentiator for business success. A data storage strategy doesn’t just outline how a company stores its data, but also how it makes use of that information.”

So, let’s see how digitalization, speed of insights, speed of transaction processing and security factor into data storage -- and why storage should be an IT strategic focus.

Read the rest of the article on InformationWeek.