Josh Davis, Marketing Director, InfoSystems
Eric Herzog, Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Storage
Executives need to be able to engage with their IT teams. The C-suite can take a step in the right direction by learning the basic storage types and the ways they are used. Having a grasp of high-level storage concepts helps line of business (LOB) executives work with IT to develop technology strategies that align with business goals.
In a recent InfoSystems podcast, Eric Herzog, Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Storage, discussed the storage theories and concepts business leaders should know. According to Herzog, LOB executives should be familiar with the main types of storage and their common use cases. Business leaders also need to understand the challenges of maintaining resiliency, availability, and disaster recovery.
Storage 101: 3 Main Types of Storage
Herzog lists 3 major types of storage that business leaders need to be aware of:
- Block: This type of storage is the most common today. It handles the bulk of data that comes from MRP, ERP, and customer contact systems.
- File: File storage is used for Word files, mpgs, and jpgs. These files can be set on blocks.
- Object: Object storage takes a whole set of files and aggregates them with a pointer. Object storage is used in genomic data research, oil and gas, and media and entertainment to store huge and complex data sets. Users may need to store more than an exabyte of production data. Object storage is also a cost-effective way to archive information.
What LOB Wants
Business leaders need to let IT know what they need from technology. Executives should understand key applications, workloads, and use cases so they can set performance and availability expectations. Companies need to be available 24/7/365 to compete in an always-on culture.
Today, every business is data-driven. Companies operate in a multicloud world. Storage is the critical foundation for any technology that organizations use.
The Ins and Outs of Storage Management
All 3 types of storage require a physical storage array. Software can be used to create a platform for running the storage.
The IT team handles storage management, which includes ensuring high performance that meets workload requirements and maintains high availability. Along with on-site resources for availability and resiliency, companies need off-site resources for backup and recovery.
Storage management must include disaster recovery. A remote site will ensure you have access to mission-critical data after a fire or flood. Herzog warns that fire is the most common cause of data center loss.
Leaders should be aware of how long their business can afford to be down. Some companies may only be able to tolerate minutes of downtime, while others may be fine if they can get their resources back in a day or even longer.
Small companies need disaster recovery so they can get back up and running after a traumatic incident. Larger companies need a disaster recovery solution that uses failover to keep them going even when a traumatic event occurs. Without disaster recovery, you could lose all your data, and your business could fail.
LOB executive should be able to discuss the recovery requirements of different data sets with the IT team. Business leaders need to decide which data is critical and should be recovered as quickly as possible.
The Future of Data
All types of companies are looking for ways to transition into the era of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is at the tipping point of becoming accessible to all companies. Gaining deep insights from data is not just for big companies. The practice has become commonplace.
AI lets you evaluate your data so you can leverage the data you've got. For example, a sandwich shop generates data every time the cash register gets used. This information can be used to decide what products to order or what new sandwich recipes to develop.
Companies can transition to AI by adopting the right data management tools to store and access data. Once the data has been analyzed, it can be used to boost efficiency, sales, and security.
Why LOB Needs to Know About Data Storage
In the podcast, Herzog reminds business leaders that mining data is how companies make money. Data helps companies understand customers better so they can develop better products and services. To gain insights from data, organizations need to have the right database.
Consequently, as Herzog states, "IT is not your enemy; it is a tool. IT is not an expense; it is an asset."
As a Premier IBM Business Partner, InfoSystems can help your company find the right tools for the job. Our certified experts can work with your company to architect the perfect storage solution to meet your unique business needs. We offer a variety of flash storage options that provide anywhere from 10 to 500 times the performance of traditional disk drives.