Companies today face the common challenge of efficiently managing increasing volumes of business data.
It is estimated that it took 300,000 years to create the first 12 exabytes of information, while the next 12 exabytes will be generated in just two years.
The quantity of emails sent now compared with 10 years ago has increased enormously. New forms of data, such as images and audio, are included with applications, and so accelerate the demand for storage.
As a result, companies must now reconsider the design and management of their IT infrastructures.
Direct-attached storage is no longer a cost-effective or efficient data management and protection option. Networked storage provides superior scalability, availability and management, as well as improved control.
Firms now realise that the initial outlay for networked storage is offset by the return on investment, and the savings provided by such implementations are significant.
They can reduce spend on storage devices, disks and administrative staffing, while management costs shrink as storage upgrade time is reduced. Hardware savings are made because networked storage is not tied to a server.
It can also reduce the billions of pounds lost to indirect costs by preventing data loss. Business continuity following a disaster is vital, and managers are becoming concerned about minimising the impact of such events.
Without high-level protection, minutes of downtime can have serious consequences. Few businesses can survive for long without access to their billing information, because most operate on a narrow cash flow margin. They are vulnerable if they cannot control product and shipping information for more than a short time.
Networked storage allows not only excellent scalability compared with traditional storage, it delivers better control over the network environment.
Storing information in the most reliable way is vital. Networked storage provides advantages with improved use of disk space and fewer tape drives. It may involve a certain amount of outlay at the start, but the return it provides is clear.
Rory Sweet is chief executive at networking distributor Zycko.
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