Data managers need to become more service-oriented ASAP. Why? Because data is changing. First, it’s getting bigger and second, those that are changing the game focus not only on products, but they are also focusing on services that help you manage your data. If you’re having trouble managing your data, or are completely overwhelmed and needing guidance lost and don’t know what you’re doing, air dropping a few VNX2 devices on your building might not help you is not going to help you. On the other hand, if I can provide resources and manpower to help you know how to properly manage your data, you might find the air drops to be a lot more helpful.
If I could look into my SAN crystal ball and predict the future, here are a few predictions I would make about managing data.
1. Smart Data
You know, we’ve heard this term before. In summary, information-centric businesses have large amounts of data, but that doesn’t have to be the death of you, if you catch my drift. You see, it’s important to analyze that data, know how to use it and only use what you need. Ramshackle data doesn’t help anyway. Smart data does. Use all your big data to make you smarter, then archive the rest of it.
2. Software Defined Storage
There are still all these debates out there about whether physical devices will matter in the future. But the data has to live somewhere, people. Even if we shoot all our data in to the cloud, the data will still reside on physical devices.
Compression and other methods of reducing physical space will be a welcomed change and will most certainly drastically reduce the footprint of physical storage. So we should at least be ready for that. Just don’t expect physical devices to disappear, ever.
3. Storage as a Service
Things like data co-location centers offer certain advantages, to be sure. Check out this epic blog I wrote on the very topic of co-location. Among other benefits, you get capital savings on housing your data, enterprise-level security and near 100% network uptime because of the way that co-location facilities are managed.
To sum up, services are where the future is headed. VARS, are ya listening? Maintenance/support, data management and co-location facilities are all going to be considerations for those interested in comprehensive data solutions.