Increasingly large, unstructured data files are inundating corporate data centers storage capacity and WAN connections. For companies that are using more and more videos, photographs and graphics, file sizes are naturally expected to grow, but in a recent Network Computing State of Storage survey [registration required], the majority of respondents said storage growth was 10-24 percent year over year. All of this contributes to the ongoing saga of what to do with this burgeoning data as it meets up with internal storage repositories and communications bandwidths that were designed for smaller files of day-to-day transaction processing, not for large data payloads.
The dilemma is two-fold for organizations: coming up with enough bandwidth so you can optimize large file transfer at rates that are acceptable for the business and potentially redesigning storage schemes to accommodate a growing population of large files.
Dave Lunemann, client services manager at Fiber Utilities Group, a private network outsourcing management company with over 8,000 miles of fiber optic network, says "Years ago, the thought of a private network was not as earth-shattering as it is today. This is because so many companies now are Internet-dependent for their wide area network (WAN) needs."
That tide is starting to turn, however, with large enterprises and companies whose main business focus is in the large files of data that they work with. "Large enterprises have highly demanding quality of service (QoS), security, latency and redundancy needs," said Lunemann. "This is what is making them return to private networks that don't subject them to bandwidth constraints from standard Internet."
The results can be impressive. The response time on a fiber optic private network allows a customer in Utah to see a bank in Iowa as a local presence, and this is good for business. A west coast genome research operation can transmit a very large file to its east coast collaborator securely and quickly, without wasting scientists' time. A multi-state healthcare company can deftly transfer MRIs and x-rays, optimizing patient care.