According to analyst firm Statista, data centre storage capacity currently stands at approximately 1,450 exabytes. By 2021, however, this could rise to an incredible 2,300 exabytes, or 2.3 zettabytes.
As a result, enterprise data storage is a challenging and complex task. Enterprise Storage Forum has therefore released a report detailing the current state of data storage in the enterprise.
The current state of storage
At present, storage tiering is still incredibly useful when it comes to storing data. Although this method has been around for decades, the tiering strategy remains a cost effective way to back up data.
SSD is also growing in the business sector, with NAND flash offering high durability and performance. While flash is still more expensive than HDDs, the price gap between the two is narrowing.
However, HDDs are not redundant just yet. SSDs are 6.6 times more expensive than HDDs, which are creating capacity gains by increasing areal density and packing more heads and disk into single drives.
Tape also remains relevant and it serves an important purpose for active archives and longterm backup retention and archival. Moreover, many tape deployments remain more efficient than disk-based storage systems.
Cloud storage is another high growth and high opportunity method of storing data. However, different models serve different needs – organisations need to know the difference to truly harness the power of the cloud.
Unstructured data is also incredibly important as it represents most of the stored data in the enterprise. Despite this, it can be very difficult to locate and extract valuable information from.
As a result, developers are using data management and analytics tools to tackle this. For example, classification software discovers unstructured data on a variety of storage systems and analyses it in order to carry out policy-driven actions.
The impact of data governance
Finally, governance and compliance requirements deeply impact storage decisions. It is therefore the IT’s responsibility to work alongside business units and the legal department to comprehend data compliance requirements.
In Europe, companies must comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This impacts everything from data retention, to archiving, and storage architectures.
As a consequence, companies are looking to their IT departments, internal compliance processes, their cloud providers, and business partners to comply. In addition to this, some firms are investing in compliance software tools that act on pattern recognition and messaging cues online.
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