Home >> Insights  >>

The Evolution Of Storage Era: Hybrid Cloud Object Storage

by Vikas Arora, - Country Manager, Cloud Business, IBM India and South Asia March-2018

It is no secret that we are squarely in the infor­mation era, and the technologies such as cloud, mobility have enabled the world to connect in various ways. The explosion of data and the sheer size however has caught everyone by sur­prise. It is said that in the last two years, we have generated more data than that created in all the years before. Experts predict that by year 2020, the amount of data that will circulate over the World Wide Web will cross 44 zettabyte. To put that in perspective, one zet­tabyte is about 250 billion DVDs worth of data.

Most of this data swirling around the web is unstruc­tured data. A smorgasbord of video, voice, social media, photos and text information which if tapped and mined is well worth its weight in gold. Organizations now are grappling with questions around tapping into this veri­table gold mine, and concerns around data management. This is so because the continued growth of unstructured data, now at web scale speeds, can even make well-fund­ed IT organizations pause.

Advanced technology is putting exorbitant amount of pressure on traditional methods that are currently preserving digital information. Traditional storage in­frastructure was never designed to maintain the peta­ byte range, leave alone zettabyte, and one up from there, yotta byte. However, today the reality is that we have crossed the threshold into the zettabyte domain. Till now, organizations have only had access to two systems of data storage - traditional on premise, or the public cloud. On-prem storage option gave full control over an organizations data, however the costs can rapidly esca­late. The public cloud allowed many companies to scale and grow their business at a global level. But certain industries and organizations will have to face concerns around data residency and sovereignty.

Straddling both these areas is the hybrid cloud. Rather than sticking with one or the other option, hy­brid cloud allows organizations and companies to have the best of both worlds - the accessibility of data and information, along with the cost benefits and scale con­siderations of the public cloud. The hybrid cloud object storage is a new approach that helps organizations de­cide where data must be stored, with reference to the needs of the company and that of the business. The many benefits of Hybrid Cloud are: Its flexibility allows enterprises to choose the deployment options that would work best for their data workloads

• It enables companies to scale and adjust object storage on a workload basis

• The streamlined and simplified object storage ap­proach allows the same technology both on cloud and on premises

• Its ability to handle unpredictable data growth while balancing storage, cost, performances, compliance de­mands, and location across data and applications is com­mendable

• It creates new business models with relevant services and applications by storing data and enhances trans­formative customer experiences thereby facilitating in­novation, interaction and analysis

Another key development in the data storage indus­try is the classification of data, and newer ways to quan­tify and qualify usage patterns. And extending it to the cost benefit analysis. In this new era, data is classified into three categories based on usage patterns:

• Hot data (Frequently Accessed)

• Warm data (Infrequently Accessed)

• Cold data (Rarely Accessed)

For any data in the organization, the temperature will now be a significant factor while zeroing in on the optimal storage location. For instance, frequently ac­cessed data requires high availability and quick access whereas infrequently accessed data can be placed in a slower or rather less costly repository.

This classification however is not static. Data sets can vary in temperature, going from frequently accessed by HR during the review cycles, to rarely accessed at all other times of the year. A fluid, modular hybrid cloud storage option will keep a close watch on data require­ments, and allow organizations to optimally store all the data, at all times. In certain instances, data management and movement could also be automated based on gov­erning principals.

The combination of hybrid cloud technology and classification of data will go a long way to alleviate the pain points that organizations are striving to bring un­der control. The very hybrid nature of the object storage will make sure that accessibility of the information is not compromised when cost comes to the fore, while temperature sequence of the data in question assures an optimal storage option.