By Phillip de Waal – There is an ever-swelling sea of data, and for companies, this means you either need to learn to swim or sink. The IDC says that by 2025 there will be five times the amount of data we have today, largely thanks to the millions of devices creating billions of files each year.

The problem here is that much of the insights this data can yield remains hidden because the storage housing it is siloed.

Because of this volume of data, programmable and API addressable object storage has become the preferred storage for future applications. Unfortunately, storage admins and owners are still bogged down by the complexity of managing and scaling storage environments. Add the need to connect to external clouds to the mix, and the complexity problem grows.


New thinking

As data growth plays havoc with traditional storage management, IT teams are turning to modernising their storage environment and simplifying it.

And by simplification, we don’t just mean a new logical build – we mean delivering tools that allow anyone to manage their data storage infrastructure with just a few simple tools and just a few clicks.

So, when migrating to a new storage paradigm, here are some factors you need to look at before letting the ink dry on your purchase order:

  • Capacity – get a solution that will expand easily without needing new skills for each upgrade.
  • Storage efficiency – does it use software-defined storage tools such as compression and deduplication to help lower total cost of ownership (TCO)?
  • Interoperability – does it have the ability to integrate with multi-cloud platforms easily?
  • Manageability – does it automate common or predictable tasks and offer self-servicing capabilities?
  • Performance – is the performance flexible, and does it match the value of the workload?
  • Resiliency – does it provide self-monitoring, self-healing, self-protection, and self-recovery?
  • Security and Multi-tenancy – is security native, supports multi-tenancy, and does it deliver storage-as-a-service to internal customers, improve up-time, and reduce administrative workload?
  • Pricing – does it come with flexible consumption models?


Next-gen software-defined

There is no doubt that the above can be met with software-defined storage solutions, which can consolidate file, block, and object storage and provide a unified management plane.

Storage users have passed the “SAN-hugger” phase; they want a solution that acknowledges the volumes of data teeming in, can consolidate and centralise this data, delivers one-click ease, and is simple to scale out or scale-up.

Software-defined storage also puts silos behind the storage team and instead delivers a more service-oriented architecture. This takes the pressure off storage admins because this centralised view and management plane allow them to perform easy file, block, and object storage and save space with on-demand erasure coding, deduplication, and compression technologies.

Another game-changing feature for businesses ingesting large volumes of data is that adding compute to add capacity doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg as it can be done on a consumption basis.


Smarter tech

Smarter technology means you should be working smarter, not harder. But are you? Using smart tech, you can automate common workflows and eliminate the need for multiple management tools to reduce the learning curve and simplify management and provide self-service capabilities so that end-users aren’t reliant on administrative actions to get the resources they need.

This also allows you to get to your data quicker and turn raw data into insights and actionable information that can help direct business decision-making.

At the end of the day, those companies that understand that a modern world requires modern storage to meet modern data requirements – will emerge successful. And in today’s world, success is metered by maintaining a competitive advantage. This future storage architecture supports the need for a company-wide, technology dispersed data fabric, provides centralised and simplified management and deployment, and delivers flexible file storage. In fact, it offers one-click object storage – today.


Phillip de Waal is the systems engineering manager at Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa