With the constantly publicized public cloud adoption statistics, one might think traditional on-premise storage is just a dinosaur awaiting extinction. The reality when you talk to IT professionals is that their data is growing astronomically and the public cloud is not a panacea because the bulk of their data is not well understood and thus cannot simply be spilled the cloud.

To better understand the depth of these challenges, we recently completed a survey of 74 IT professionals to help identify the top pain points of data storage. Our survey revealed the growing complexity of enterprise data storage – along with widespread lack of visibility into stored data. The survey highlighted that most companies rely on three or more storage solutions to manage company data, and in turn respondents rated “managing complexity of different products” as a top concern, second only to growing storage costs. We’ve outlined the key findings from our survey to dive deeper into the issues plaguing IT departments and where we believe storage is heading in the future. Click here to view the infographic.

Enterprises Need a Strategy for Tackling “Dark Data” and Data Sprawl

Enterprises need to start thinking about a strategy for unifying how they manage their data to provide a clear view of data type, access, usage and other important metrics for data since not all data is created equal. Only 28 percent of respondents stated they have a good understanding of which users are accessing company data, while just 40 percent claimed they have good information about how many copies of data exist.

Insight into types of files, capacity utilization trends, and the amount of data being protected were the key metrics available to a majority of respondents, but none of these majorities rose above 64 percent, showing how even basic insight into data is not widespread across the industry.

At the same time, nearly half of respondents noted that data has grown more than 50 percent in just the past year. The exponential growth in storage requirements paired with this lack of insight into basic copy data metrics points to how important it will be for many companies to adopt new data management solutions.

The Two Greatest Storage Challenges for IT professionals? Cost and Complexity. 

51 and 45 percent of survey respondents, respectively, reported the greatest challenges they face with data storage are costs associated with high data growth and the complexity of managing different storage products. The good news is that new converged storage architectures aim to address these issues with highly scalable, modular platforms to help unify this high data growth for simpler management and usage efficiency.

Looking Forward- Using Flash to Solve the Data Explosion

The first generation of flash storage solutions has been leveraging flash to deliver high performance to the mission critical applications in private cloud datacenters, spurred by the massive random IO requirements of virtualized apps. These mission cirtical apps only comprise 10-15% of the total data in an organization, so how can flash help with the hundreds of TBs and PBs that are multiplying year over year?

In the next generation of storage solutions, flash is being used more intelligently to handle metadata scaling to create infinitely scalable, grow as you go storage platforms that more closely resemble the cloud or web-scale architectures you see at a Google or Amazon. Unlike the single application architectures of a Google, though, this generation of systems must also share flash at scale to balance QoS for a multitude of data applications and performance profiles, thus tackling the rest of the data iceberg of secondary storage.  This part of the data iceberg may comprise 80%+ of an organization’s data and includes data protection, file services, test/dev and even analytics.

Customers are ready to stop making the management tradeoffs associated with buying siloed, purpose-built storage products to handle each of these use cases when storage feature requirements largely overlap.  (We know this model benefits only the storage vendor giants!) The massive usage inefficiencies and sprawl of data copies is motivating a new wave of flash storage adoption that may ultimately have a larger impact on datacenters than all-flash arrays.

Cohesity’s data platform is one of the solutions leading this approach by offering the first architecture that converges the ability to store, protect and analyze that data in a streamlined grow-as-you go appliance model. This architecture mirrors the standards-based, scale-out architectures of the public cloud and will enable organizations to more intelligently and seamlessly select what data should spill to the public cloud. A true hybrid cloud storage architecture is finally arriving.  Stay posted for more details or sign up for early access.

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