Getting Out of the Weeds: How to Calculate Data-Aware Business Value
When you’re a value-added reseller (VAR), you start recognizing trends that are unique to certain industries. For example, storage platforms have been conceptually the same for a long time. Different vendors will spice up their offerings with language and add-on features, so one product may provide the “cheap and deep” storage you need while another delivers “lightning-fast” services, or one may have a particularly strong deduplication play while another excels in the quality of its snapshots. However, when you boil it down, storage vendors and users are usually measuring the efficacy of platforms through their cost per terabyte (TB) or input/output operations per second (IOPS) rate.
Once an organization knows it can meet its capacity, IOPS and efficiency needs, determining the big-picture benefits of different storage platforms can feel like splitting hairs. Data-aware technology changes this game by extending the conversation beyond storage. As we work with our customers, we dive into the storage weeds, but the details take up less than half of our discussions. The rest of the time, we’re talking about how storage and IT administrators can make a serious impact on holistic business value.
If you’re trying to start this process at your company or with one of your clients, your first step should be getting out of the weeds. The reason you need storage in the first place is your data, and you deserve to know what’s in it. Consider the cost of the below processes on your IT system. Each of these can create a productivity roadblock if you’re not using data-aware storage. How much would you save if these initiatives had no impact on storage, network or server resources and were instantly available with real time data?
- Search and discovery: Many end users create the same content over and over again, causing any data of value to get lost in the shuffle. As a result, IT pros can’t always find the information they need, when they need it.
- Securing sensitive data: It’s simple – if you don’t know what’s in your data, you’re not going to be able to protect it.
- User and file auditing: Network security measures often can’t help secure information from internal threats once your network is breached. Using data-aware storage to track when files are read, written and deleted – and visualizing this information to get a clear view of its impact – will stop you from getting caught off guard.
- Near-instant recovery: Poring through backups can be a painstaking process. If users accidentally delete or misplace a file, data-aware storage can help you find it using attributes such as keywords, authors or file types, and click to restore it immediately.
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