Is Data Efficiency Achievable?

By Arjan Timmerman

The world is changing fast. With events like the current pandemic still claiming victims around the world, my first thoughts go out to those who’ve lost loved ones, the people fighting for their lives (lonely in a hospital) and all those amazing healthcare workers fighting an unfair battle because they swore an oath to protect the people that need their help the most. Be safe, and make sure to support the people that need you and love you so much.

Another big and fast change is data and the storage of it. After living in the physical realm since almost the beginning of time, in the last couple of decades the world of data changed dramatically and moved its way into bits and bytes. But like with a virus, data spread almost uncontrolled it seems. 

Do we have the tools to battle this spread and to make it controllable and efficient? Sometimes, it feels like data is working against our organization instead of working for us. And to be honest, if not managed correctly, it gets out of control quickly. But if handled correctly and efficiently, data brings value that companies are looking for and provides powerful insights to help the businesses grow.

The world of data changed even more dramatically with the evolution from the data center to the cloud. With the click of a button and the swipe of a credit card, a whole new world opened for the ones that felt left behind by their IT departments. With unlimited pools of data storage, and possibilities within everybody’s grasp, shadow IT becomes a challenge for organizations. Once the IT team finds out about what goes on behind the shadows, it is already too late in most cases. This way, self-help data clouds spread even further and the only thing IT seems to be able to do is to embrace the change. 

As with everything in life, we see that with change innovation is right around the corner. It is why humanity is so successful as we are always trying, never giving up, adapting and evolving. Where cloud seemed to provide access to almost unlimited resources, it also brought a change in the way companies are thinking about their data centers. It brings the business new ways to think about the use of the three pillars of the data center: compute, storage and networking. 

Instead of making hardware the biggest asset in a data center, the cloud tells us it is really the software that brings the flexibility and efficiency we need. And with the software-defined data center, we are ready for a new era. We embrace the cloud and see the huge potential it provides us to grow and utilize it in different ways. We’ll manage, of course, and hybrid seems the path for the foreseeable future.

We also noticed that when carelessly storing our data everywhere, security issues emerged as well as storage inefficiency. With the authorities creating regulations and laws to make sure the valuable data gets the protection it needs, data storage becomes a force to reckon with for all businesses. With all the good in the world, there is always the bad lurking where you least expect it. Thus, protecting the data calls for strong security (based on company and government-issued regulations) while at the same time, ensuring the data is accessible when you need it.  

We need companies that provide us insights into our data. Questions need to be answered like: 

  • What data is where?
  • How many copies do we have?
  • How long do we need to keep it?
  • Can this data be deleted?
  • If someone proclaims the right to be forgotten, do we know where that particular data lives and how to delete the right data?

We need insight into our data; we must be able to retrieve, examine and analyze it like a scientist with a microscope. We want to have the ability to put our data wherever it is most efficient, yet easily gain insight into it when ready.  

In the webinar with Commvault, we talk about three ways to embrace data efficiency. It’s an informative and actionable webinar that delves into the issues described above, so make sure to view the on-demand version.