Data retention is becoming an integral part of corporate success. It is estimated that the data storage needs of mid-sized companies will increase at a rate of about 35 percent per year. It will fall on the heads of IT departments to keep up with growing storage demands. An increase in storage capacity may be needed every two years. That means companies will see well over ten percent of their IT budget dedicated solely to storage maintenance. As storage needs balloon, within six years, it will be common to spend upwards of 50 percent of one's IT budget on big data storage needs.
Your data source plays a large role in what sort of capacity you will need to wield to maintain your archived and incoming consumer data. Data derived from social media, competitive SEO analysis, web tracking, or web chats are immeasurably valuable. Then there are the run of the mill data streams such as client lists and client data. Additionally, observational data including loan, voter registration, real estate transactions, general records, credit report requests, etc. are commonly banked data.
Another avenue, less explored, are sources of unstructured data. It has become evident that documents and sources not normally associated with general data collection are filled with beneficial consumer data. Being able to efficiently mine for the data that will be equitable to your business becomes key, in conjunction with general storage needs.
When focused on only two or three data streams, storage may be more easily maintained. As your business grows, or data streams exceed ten sources, traditional storage methods may not be as cost effective. Global companies face the additional barrier of managing data coming from multiple streams, locations, and broad scale ready internal user access.
Data Storage Methods
In times past, the only way to store a massive amount of data was to spend $100,000 or more for a prebuilt specialized data storage receptacle. However, the more data retention that was needed, the more unreasonable and expensive it became to store that data. The new trend is directed toward using unspecialized, lower cost, non-intelligent devices that exploit the computing capacity of servers. Such systems are basically able to slash costs by as much as 80 percent, while maximizing storage capacity per dollar.
That said, there is a nominal loss in computing capacity. Storage yield may be only 80 percent; but if that 80 percent comes at 20 percent of the cost, overall storage potential is vast. Examples of integrated systems, and/or system components, and their benefits or pitfalls would be:
- EMC Storage Systems - These systems are ideal for smaller data storage needs. However pushed past reasonable capacity they can have space constraints, high expense, and high energy drain.
- NAS Servers - These systems are best utilized in petabyte clusters. They tend toward a lower CPU and have high-density disk drives.
- Solid-state drives (SSD) - These systems utilize a flash drive technology. They work best used as a top layer component in a data tier. They boast a fast response mode, and work best layered between disks and processors.
Not to be overlooked are cloud-based data storage methods. Such storage works best for non-sensitive data. Global companies, and those with more than ten data streams, will find cloud-based storage to be exponentially beneficial.
Down to the Nitty-Gritty
Data storage methods can have a serious impact on synchronization strategy. Ultimately, data is only as useful as what usable accurate informational parts one can retrieve. Furthermore, dependent on your business model, heightened speed of retrieval may be extremely essential. Ideally, scalable storage space and compute power would reside near the main data storage location/s.
Lastly is the art of storing data intelligently. Columnar databases offer significantly better performance and minimize storage footprint. They function with more efficiency than row-based databases and simplify analytic workload while encouraging minimal duplication. The result is file reduction and more efficient data retention. In essence, data storage is an art form necessary for modern business success.