Senior IT Leader
“AI has started playing a key role in ensuring SLA s and business availability.”
Storage is the underlying foundation of IT. Everything, including the applications and the structured as well as unstructured data, resides on storage media. However, storage solutions have move much beyond the hardware layer. Today, the virtualization layer has become the heart and center of all data centers, be it a private data center or a public cloud. Moreover, in the last three years or so, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a critical part from a storage perspective, and has started playing a significant role in ensuring SLA s and business availability.
Whenever an IT issue comes up, there has be either a storage problem, a network problem, or an application problem. AI simplifies the task of pinpointing the problem. And if you’re able to solve those issues immediately, it helps.
That’s point number one. Point number two is definitely in terms of scalability. Today, data has been growing from terabytes to gigabytes and exabytes, and the kind of scalability available within the controller set is enormous. So, it enables people running on-prem data centers to scale it almost on a demand basis, which has come very far in terms of intelligent storage on the data centers. Third is the agile part and the security that need to be factored into the storage component.
The industry is witnessing a massive amount of transformation, and that is impacting storage as well. Storage transformation is already underway, though there are relative challenges on the ground.
Earlier data used to be about read and write, but now it’s mostly about write and read. Plus, we have big data, where there is lot of unstructured data.
Whenever we plan for storage or its replacement or scalability, we always look at it from a hybrid perspective. While some of the data will be available on prem, some of it will be available in the cloud. And if there are multiple clouds, then we have a provision available to move data from one cloud to another. The entire scope or design of storage has been taken at a different level altogether, wherein you provide the best-in-class security to fulfill the needs of compliance, security, and agility.
Today, data centers could very well be managed through automation to ensure that they run fine if errors happen due to known issues. Some alerts can go to the system admin or the backup admin for respective measures. So I think the intelligent data center is developing and progressing well. It’s not fully developed yet, but things are moving well in the right direction.
So, typically, when you look at the front cache or the cache available and the indexing on the storage, they are algorithms. They understand how to address structured data versus unstructured data. Also, with AI, provisions are available, either through an open stack or through our existing vendors, to ensure that those are being looked at differently.
Compliance is a key issue that one needs to factor in. Particularly, when GDPR aspects are involved, data retention can be a key challenge. It is important to differentiate between personally identifiable information (PII) and normal data. In terms of data, we have been ensuring that all the storage needs to be encrypted. A key question that CIOs must answer is: in case of an attack or a security threat, what data has been moved out? This could be of great importance because most organizations don’t even understand what information has been lost during an attack.
These are very grave concerns for organizations. While we try protecting data right from the endpoint to the perimeter, but in case an event happens, often one doesn’t even understand that the event has occurred.
Going forward, among other things, blockchain-based mechanisms are likely to evolve such that data may be protected in a far more better way.