Data Storage Challenges

Excerpted from Global Knowledge White Paper: Storage Consolidation, from EMC Corporation

The increased use of technology in conducting mainstream business operations has made electronic information one of the most valuable assets of any organization. This transformation in business practice also presented IT organizations with the challenge of maintaining and consistently delivering high quality of IT services to consumers.

While organizations respond to this growth in electronic information with the adoption of new storage technologies, companies are being challenged to fully materialize their return on storage investment. Much of storage resources go untapped due to a lack of diligence in technology procurement, deployment, and operational phases. As a result there is an opportunity for companies to consolidate their storage operations in order to increase resource yield and lower the total cost of operations and ownership.

What are the Storage Challenges?

As companies grow and expand business operations to tap new market opportunities, there comes the challenge of equally scaling and maintaining IT infrastructures without incurring excessive cost. Some of the key storage challenges include:

Excessive Cost — Corporate information which must be retained includes critical and non-critical business information.

Operational Cost of Data Centers — Floor space required for housing IT infrastructure is a significant operational cost.

Low Return on Investment — According to industry studies, the average utilization of storage within most organizations is approximately 35 to 50 percent of all available storage resulting in low return on storage investment.

Business Disruption — Organizations cannot afford to keep business-critical applications offline for extended periods of time due to planned or unplanned maintenance work.

Insufficient Information Backup and Recovery — The amount of electronic information continues to grow exponentially and the loss or extended unavailability of business-critical information can have drastic financial impact on a company’s bottom line.

Lack of Business Continuity — Many IT organizations lack consistent data replication policies and practices to fully protect information across multiple data centers, thus exposing business to risk.

Rogue Management — Lack of interoperability between heterogeneous storage software and hardware resources leads to unexpected storage management issues such as difficulty in migrating data between storage devices or managing multi-vendor storage using a single tool.

Lack of Access to Pertinent Information — Lack of proper reporting tools leads to inconsistent quality of storage service to users.

Complexity — Use of too many tools not only creates the pressure of training staff members but, more importantly, retaining trained staff to gain productivity and maximize investment in building a qualified storage operations team.

Compliance with Regulations

For any company, it is critical to fully account for every bit of information and store all information in a secure manner for many years in order to be compliant with various regulations.

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