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4 Tips for Storing Data Smarter

by on August 25, 2011

It’s no secret that data is “Big” these days—and it’s only getting bigger. Experts predict that we’ll be dealing with no less than 1,842 exabytes of data by the end of this year. But just because data volumes are growing exponentially, that doesn’t mean your budget for storage media will grow at the same pace—nor should it. If there’s one positive outcome so far from the challenge of trying to get our arms around the data explosion, it’s that we’re being forced to get smarter about how we store all that data.

Smarter

Before you invest in storing all of that data “bigger” by adding disk arrays or expanding your tape library—not to mention covering the operating costs to support more storage media—here’s some food for thought on how to store it “smarter” (more cost-effectively and efficiently, that is):

#1: Use data reduction technologies and techniques
Data reduction can help your organization make Big Data smaller. Today there are a range of viable data compression and deduplication tools for both backup and primary storage. These technologies and techniques reduce the space required to store your data, allowing you to store more data on your existing storage media.

#2: Implement a tiered data storage model
Tiered data storage involves assigning different categories of data to different types of storage media based on criteria such as how frequently a data set is accessed and how mission critical it is. Tier 1 data is stored online on the most expensive media, while lower tiers are stored on less expensive media and offline if appropriate. The result: lower total storage cost.

#3: Consider active archiving
Active archiving takes tiered data storage to another level, adding a file system front-end that provides access to files stored both online and offline on tape. An estimated 80 percent of data in production catalogs is inactive data that can be moved to cost-efficient tape yet still readily accessed in an active archive if needed.

#4: Maximize energy efficiency
For files that must be stored online, power-managed disk drives can help reduce energy consumption, driving down operating costs. Energy-efficient tape will keep down storage costs for backup and archiving purposes. While managing power and cooling costs won’t reduce your storage media acquisition costs, it can go a long way toward keeping a handle on your storage operating costs.

When it comes to managing rapidly expanding data stores, this is one case when bigger is definitely not better. What are some other ways you’re storing data smarter? Let us know in the comments section.

And of course, if you’d like to talk to us directly about this issue or how we can help alleviate many of the problems of “big data”, just contact us any time.

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