Organisations the world over are embarking on digital transformation journeys and evolving towards becoming far more data-centric in order to stay up-to-date with developments in the market, and ahead of the curve. The pace of change is unprecedented, and most businesses on this journey are discovering that their legacy IT infrastructures are challenged when it comes to providing the performance, availability, ease of use, and agility needed in today’s digital era.
This becomes even more of a challenge when taking into account that enterprises across the board have more data at their disposal than ever before, which brings massive benefits when converted into information, but at the same time, many challenges. With this data, companies can better serve their customers, solve complex business challenges, and develop new and innovative products and services. However, for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), choosing the best storage for their needs can prove quite a challenge, and many of these entities are battling to store and use the large quantities of data they have today.
In today’s environment, with digital transformation, the Internet of things (IoT), the cloud, and more, smaller businesses are facing pressing questions about the type of data storage they need. For those in health care, financial services, and other sectors that handle large volumes of personal customer data, going a ‘cloud only’ route isn’t an option, as it’s too risky to put sensitive data into a storage solution that they have less control over. Investing in the right data storage solution can make or break a business, and impact on its ability to recover after a disaster, respond to changing customer demands, and can even place the business at risk from cyber-attacks.
Many growing entities with insufficient storage capacity opt to delete data, but it’s hard to predict what data will be needed in the future. Others, particularly those subject to harsh regulatory requirements, keep on buying more and more hardware as data grows and then suffer as storage costs get out of control. To prepare for future data needs and potential dangers, SMEs need to understand what types of storage are available, and which of these best meets their unique needs.
However, most business leaders, particularly when it comes to SMEs, don’t have the time or skills in-house to carefully consider their approach to data storage and implement it. Everyday operations and tasks demand their full time and attention, so what often happens is that a patchwork of solutions emerges, and unfortunately SMEs that don’t have a clear plan on how to use and store their data, run the risk of falling behind any competitors that do. And just like today’s enterprise IT users, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to continually make trade-offs between budget, performance, and simplicity within their IT ecosystem. Budgets are either flat or are declining, forcing them to have to do more with less. Both IT and human resources are affected, which means that both performance and automation need to be improved significantly to keep up with the demands. Concurrently, their IT infrastructures need to constantly evolve and grow to take advantage of market opportunities.
This is where having a good channel partner can make all the difference, as they have the knowledge and expertise needed to unpack the key storage technologies available today and share what each one offers for different business needs. They will be able to help growing entities identify the type of data they have, their access needs as well as backup requirements. Importantly, they will be able to determine how much storage the business will require over the next few years, given that the amount of data created daily continues to soar. This will ensure the organisation is never under-provisioned, and that any investments are scalable to ensure that future needs are met. They will also be able to ensure that any storage investments enhance their cyber security capabilities and leverage the latest technologies to improve the efficiency of IT operations. A good partner will understand which models are best suited to the business, such as traditional on-premises IT infrastructure, private cloud infrastructure, public cloud infrastructure, or a hybrid combination of all three.
When looking at modern storage solutions for growing entities, any good solution needs to be able to perform a range of functions. HPE Nimble, for example, is able to put data in the appropriate tiers, and allow users to access it from on-premise or the cloud without needing any manual intervention and, because of this, features support for relevant APIs so they can be integrated into cloud-based automated workflows. Similarly, because efficient data movement technologies are needed, it offers a range of replication options. Other hallmarks of a modern storage solution, and features that HPE offers, include simple provisioning, non-disruptive scalability, and multi-generational technology refresh. Also, because ease of management is a key concern as companies of every size refresh their storage infrastructure, many are turning to management tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and are looking to up the level of automation being used in the business.
Among the industry-leading enterprise storage providers, the best of them have introduced cloud-based predictive analytics platforms that go way beyond the monitoring aspects of yesterday’s legacy telemetry systems, harnessing all the power of AI and machine learning to monitor and manage system health far more easily and effectively. The cream of the crop goes beyond simply storage, to monitoring logical objects such as virtual machines and applications too. These systems completely transform the support experience while dramatically enhancing performance, availability, administrative productivity, as well as the reliability of operations.
At the end of the day, this all enables those who are tasked with managing IT and storage infrastructure to be far more productive, and able to shift their focus away from mundane and onerous tasks and projects, towards innovation and business support. It also improves the performance and agility associated with deploying and managing storage resources while cutting the cost of operations and saving money. It drives enhanced application development and administrative productivity, and lessens unplanned downtime, thereby protecting revenue and lowering business risk.
Another example is the HPE MSA portfolio of hybrid storage solutions, which offers several key advantages for companies of all sizes, who are looking to deploy SAN-based storage. These solutions offer an affordable acceleration to hybrid-flash storage, real performance that companies can see and experience, and proven simplicity in deploying and managing storage resources.
Designed to meet entry-level storage requirements, these solutions are ideal for users with fixed capacity and performance needs supporting smaller IT workloads. However, for larger dynamic workloads, the range offers solutions with far higher performance and capacity, offering the flexibility to scale both of these requirements to meet demanding IT workloads. HPE’s storage solutions are perfect for growing organisations, allowing them to start small and scale as needed with any combination of solid-state drives (SSDs), high-performance enterprise serial-attached SCSI hard disk drives (SAS HDDs), or low-cost midline SAS HDDs.
HPE through Tarsus Distribution offers a breadth of solutions that cater to every type of business requirement, from the smallest company to the largest enterprise. The company’s storage solutions are able to respond to varied capacity, scale, performance, and security needs, providing a solution to fit each business, while offering the best value.