CIOs must prepare for data growth

By combining policies and technologies in data centers, IT chiefs will be better prepared to cope with data explosion, says industry analyst.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--To cope with ongoing data growth, CIOs must reassess their storage policies alongside the deployment of new technologies to formulate a strategy to manage the onslaught of information, according to a Gartner analyst.

In a media roundtable Tuesday hosted by Dell, Aman Munglani, Gartner's principal research analyst, said data is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 913 percent from 2010 to 2014. This means organizations will have to cope with managing up to 20 to 25 times more capacity by 2014, he cautioned.

Munglani noted that there is also increasing pressure from CFOs (chief financial officers) who expect improved quality as well as more cost-effective IT systems. "It's not so much about the [upfront] cost of the infrastructure but about the total cost of ownership over a period of time, [which means] going beyond how much a storage box costs," he added.

On top of that, unstructured data will make up 80 percent of total capacity by 2014, he said, adding that this will be "a big problem" for organizations.

Noting that CIOs will not be able to stop the growth of capacity, Munglani said IT heads need to look at implementing storage policies as well as new technologies to cope with the exploding data growth.

On the technology front, he said companies should look at tiered storage and data deduplication as ways to manage growing data. Tiered storage is more economically beneficial than unprovisioned storage, while deduplication can improve storage utilization, he explained.

The Gartner analyst added that it is also important CIOs look at policies, procedures and regulations within the company. "Unless you have a storage plan, [in which you] understand your applications and know the capacity plans for your organizations, new technologies are not going to be helpful," he said.

Cloud hype over but concerns remain
Munglani also noted that cloud computing has moved beyond being a hype, where adoption is expected to grow in both public and private cloud.

Large enterprises will prefer to implement private cloud, while small and midsize businesses (SMBs) will find use case for cloud, he said.

However, organizations will still have reservations around data security and privacy, industry compliance, network performance, as well as the cloud vendor's ability to recover the services after a disaster, he noted.

In his presentation, Tan Teng Cheong, Dell's Singapore general manager for commercial business, referred to a study on its customers which found that 54 percent of respondents had not deployed cloud-enabled technologies.

However, Tan concurred that the cloud hype is reaching its peak and will soon move into actual adoption. He added that Dell itself uses software-as-a-service products from Salesforce.com, to manage its sales process as well as store customer data.

Tan noted that while often perceived as a consumer PC player , in reality, Dell's consumer business accounts for only 20 percent of the company's overall revenues. He added that its enterprise server customers include Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft. In the Asia-Pacific region, this customer base includes China's search site Baidu and instant messaging provider Tencent QQ, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Maple Story, as well as Resort World Sentosa in Singapore.

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