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December 17, 2012

'Big Data' Chaos in Middle East Enterprises can be Reined in with Intelligent Data Management

By TMCnet Special Guest
Allen Mitchell, Senior Technical Account Manager, MENA at CommVault

One of the big topics around IT discussions in the Middle East these days is big data. In thinking about today's data center trends – the growth of unstructured data, the universal adoption of virtualization and increasing consolidation – an interesting paradigm is developing. Big data is something that can creep up on you and before you realize it, it can be causing huge expense and present new types of risks, complexity and cost. What often starts as a project can become business critical and the bigger it is, the harder it is to keep it available or recover in an emergency. Most organizations distribute data over a number of systems and because it’s distributed, the true costs are hidden.

As organizations experience the big data phenomenon, they are faced with several challenges. Protection and disaster recovery can be staggeringly expensive. To mirror 1TB these days is relatively inexpensive, but to mirror 500TB on high-end disk for scientific analysis is cost prohibitive for all but those with very big purses. Even backup to relatively cheap media-like tape can be expensive due to the sheer volume. The other issue is time – while everything is faster today than it used to be, moving even modest amounts of terabytes around can take a while, let alone petabytes!

So how do companies deal with big data? Using storage resource management (SRM) software is a good start. SRM reports present a consolidated view of all storage resources, including logical and physical components, providing unified tools to analyze storage requirements and plan storage infrastructure for the purposes of capacity management, content management, and historical data management across the entire enterprise.

 Not only will this type of trending warn you that you’re heading down the big data path, but it can help drive archiving policies for effective long term storage and keep costs under control. Big data needs expert handling and getting the right help early on can make a big difference. So while it’s not easy to spot a problem before it becomes acute, doing so can save companies a lot of expense and pain. Choosing the right technology is critical. Today's legacy data management tools just aren't up to the task.

According to CommVault (News - Alert)-sponsored CIO Market Pulse Survey on data protection and management that polled 111 IT and business management professionals, 42 percent of respondents described their organizations' data management processes as "outdated," and 31 percent called it "chaotic." More than half stated that data searchability and the current level of automated data management is less than adequate.

Overall, those surveyed cited improving operational efficiency, the ability to access and analyze information and flexibility as the top business drivers for investing in data management solutions.

So what if you could rein in the wild growth of unstructured data in the big data era using fewer resources? Managing, protecting and understanding the business value of the data you have can have a tangible impact on business agility and the bottom line.

The advent of big data is causing IT to rethink and possibly redesign architectures to accommodate business requirements as data volumes grow. The only way to accommodate such growth is to implement a modern approach to data management. Customers need:

  • A highly scalable repository for unstructured data
  • Protection and archive from a single pass through the data
  • Storage tiering to lower costs

And it all needs to be done from a single management console with application-aware snapshots, replication, data de-duplication, encryption, and a range of other built-in features.

Studies estimate that multiple copies of files now require organizations to use and administer two to 50 times more storage than they actually need. Given the impact on the bottom line, organizations need to recognize that, far from being a niche technology, de-duplication needs to become standard practice and an integrated element in their overall IT strategy. Data de-duplication lets you significantly reduce the amount of disk you need for backup. De-duplication results in improved backup windows, faster restore and recovery, and reliable transfer of data for disaster recovery copies.

Every IT vendor out there is trying to stake its claim to be the de facto standard for managing big data environments. Vendors who have a unique approach that stands out from competition will have success in the world of big data. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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