Tuesday 13 December 2016

The Best of Both Worlds Regarding Mainframe Storage and the Cloud

It might shock you to hear that managing data has never been more difficult than it is today. Data is growing at the speed of light, while IT budgets are shrinking at a similar pace. All of this growth and change is forcing administrators to find more relevant ways to successfully manage and store data. This is no easy task, as there are many regulatory constraints with respect to data retention, and the business value of the data needs to be considered as well. Those within the IT world likely remember (with fondness) the hierarchical storage management systems (HSM), which have traditionally played a key role in the mainframe information lifecycle management (ILM). Though this was once a reliable and effective way to manage company data, gone are the days when businesses can put full confidence in such a method. The truth of the matter is that things have become much more complicated.

There is a growing need to collect information and data, and the bad news with this is that there is simply not enough money in the budget to handle the huge load. In fact, not only are budgets feeling the growth, but even current systems can’t keep up with the vast pace of the increase in data and its value. It is estimated that global data center traffic will soon triple its numbers from 2013. You can imagine what a tremendous strain this quick growth poses to HSM and ILM. Administrators are left with loads of questions such as how long must data be kept, what data must be stored, what data is safe for deletion, and when it is safe to delete certain data. These questions are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data management. Regulatory requirements, estimated costs, and the issues of backup, recovery and accessibility for critical data are areas of concern that also must be addressed with the changing atmosphere of tremendous data growth.

There is an alluring solution that has come on the scene that might make heads turn with respect to management of stored data. The idea of hybrid cloud storage is making administrators within the IT world and businesses alike think that there might actually be a way to manage this vast amount of data in a cost effective way. So, what would this hybrid cloud look like? Essentially, it would be a combination of capabilities found in both private and public cloud storage solutions. It would combine on-site company data with storage capabilities found on the public cloud. Why would this be a good solution? The reason is because companies are looking for a cost effective way to manage the massive influx of data. This hybrid cloud solution would offer just that. The best part is, users would only need to pay for what they use regarding their storage needs. The goods news is, the options are seemingly unlimited, increasing or decreasing as client needs shift over time. With a virtualized architecture in place, the variety of storage options are endless. Imagine what it would be like to no longer be worried about the provider or the type of storage you are managing. With the hybrid cloud storage system in place, these worries would go out the window. Think of it as commodity storage. Those within the business world understand that this type of storage has proven to work well within their spheres, ultimately offering a limitless capacity to meet all of their data storage needs. What could be better?

In this fast-paced, shifting world, it’s high time relevant solutions come to the forefront that are effective for the growth and change so common in the world of technology today. Keep in mind that the vast influx of data could become a huge problem if solutions such as the hybrid cloud options are not considered. This combination of cloud storage is a great way to lower storage costs as the retention time increases, and the data value decreases. With this solution, policies are respected, flexibility is gained, and costs are cut. When it comes to managing data effectively over time, the hybrid cloud storage system is a solution that almost anyone could get behind!

Jason Zhang is the product marketing person for Rocket Software's Backup, Storage, and Cloud solutions.

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