How to ride the waves as data-aware tides are rising

Do you order a “soda,” a “Coke” or a “pop” at the movies? Is the device you use to control your TV a “remote” or a “clicker?” Comparing nicknames for common items is an old favorite , guaranteed to break the ice in an awkward situation and shed some light on background or regional history pertaining to the speaker, or the subject in question. Lately, our team has been watching with interest as our industry peers pick up on the idea of “data-aware” storage and technology, with some organizations applying “data-aware” to their platforms. However, calling two different solutions “data-aware” doesn’t mean they have the same definitions or capabilities.

Talking data-aware technology with the Taneja Group

I recently participated in a webinar, “Innovations in storage: Data-aware storage unveiled,” as a panelist alongside Taneja Group analyst Jeff Kato, Peter Godman of Qumulo and Shahbaz Ali of Tarmin. I discussed why the time is right in the IT industry for storage to take on a new role, and I shared some of the use cases in which DataGravity customers have seen the greatest return from their data-aware storage systems. As Kato writes, “If implemented correctly, data-aware storage could reduce risk for non-compliance and improve governance,” and even “identify issues before they occur, either for compliance or capacity or performance or SLA.”

There are few organizations that wouldn’t benefit from a solution with this definition. However, not every platform offering rich contextual analytics can glean insights from data at the point of storage, and not every solution claiming to be data-aware can offer the full capabilities that define DataGravity. To be fully “data-aware,” a solution can start with operational insights, but needs to add the critical insight into the people, content and time surrounding the data. This level of data-awareness better addresses the data challenges of modern organizations.

The DataGravity data-aware difference

In a recent media interview, I was asked whether the DataGravity Discovery Series was primary storage or an adjunct solution that sits next to storage. My response was that it can be both. There are a number of great storage solutions that customers have previously invested in and answer their traditional storage needs. However, to ensure your data is secure, install DataGravity and move business-critical file shares to the DataGravity system. The system will help you find data that is both valuable and security-sensitive, helping you quickly understand exactly who is accessing it, when and why.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a storage system with breakthrough technology and a roadmap that will carry you for years, put file shares and iSCSI LUNs on DataGravity. DataGravity also extends data-aware to virtual environments, take a look at our section on VMware integration and vRealize operations management. We just added a whole new dimension in intelligence at the point of storage with unprecedented visibility into the data residing in your virtualized environment.

Four questions to determine if a solution meets your data-aware needs

As we work with new customers and in new industries, we’ve recognized certain patterns among users who get the greatest returns from our data-aware storage technology. To find out if data-aware storage can benefit your organization – or if the solutions you’re using now are truly data-aware – try asking your IT team the below questions:

  1. Is our IT team equipped with the visibility to manage sensitive data and identify data breaches before they occur?
  2. How much time, energy and budget did we spend maintaining compliance regulations last year? How many violations went unnoticed?
  3. Would we know if our employees could find better ways to collaborate, and if we did, could we help them measurably improve productivity?
  4. Is there a chance our employees are planning to take company data before leaving the organization? What are the ramifications of this on customers, operating costs and brand image?

If your IT system can’t help you answer these questions, you’re not yet data-aware.

Read more about data-aware storage use cases, and how DataGravity can improve your IT.


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John Joseph

John Joseph

President and co-founder of DataGravity, John Joseph leads company’s sales, marketing, operations and customer initiatives. John previously served as vice president of marketing and product management at EqualLogic, leading these functions from the company's initial launch through the successful acquisition by Dell in 2008. He subsequently served as vice president of enterprise solutions, marketing at Dell for three years after the acquisition.