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Drive efficiency and data control in 2012, says NetApp Singapore head

F.Y. Teng | Jan. 17, 2012
Big Data challenges abound in the Year of the Dragon, but we have to rein them in aggressively, according to Loh Ching Soo.

In statement issued Tuesday (January 17), Country Manager, Singapore of information management company NetApp, Loh Ching Soo referenced a key prediction made by research firm Gartner and cited three areas that organisations need to manage right and well starting in 2012.

A recent Gartner report was quoted: “Through 2015, more than 25 percent of Fortune 500 organisations will fail to effectively exploit Big Data for competitive advantage.” The report detailed the various technical and management challenges specifically presented by Big Data that it says big organisations are not suitably prepared to meet.

Loh then went on to talk about what senior information executives at large organisations should be looking at as main priorities in 2012, particularly if they want to “control their data and accelerate business innovation.”

The first of these was virtualisation. “Many CIOs are already looking to virtualisation to reduce costs and improve IT performance, while achieving elastic scalability in their operations,” said Loh. “In the year ahead, a virtualized shared infrastructure will continue to be an important foundation for realising further IT efficiencies, such as cloud computing and virtual desktop environments.”

“Virtualisation will also unlock capabilities that were previously out of the organisation’s reach. For instance, virtualisation has made disaster recovery much simpler and cheaper. Organisations requiring a full mirror of their primary systems can simply duplicate these files onto a virtual machine, thus eliminating the need for redundant hardware,” he said. “Underlying these innovations is the need for a dynamic storage infrastructure that can support dynamic provisioning, back-ups and recovery. [This year] will see organisations paying closer attention to their virtualisation projects, and extend their virtualisation efforts beyond the servers. CIOs will now realise that storage virtualisation is necessary to reap the full benefits of a shared infrastructure.”

The second area large organisations have to look more closely into in 2012, according to Loh, was infrastructure. “The uncertain economic climate is forcing organisations to reexamine their infrastructure. Consolidation and convergence will continue to accelerate in the year ahead. To stretch limited IT dollars, CIOs will pay closer attention to enhancing storage and overall IT efficiency and reclaim time and resources that are currently underutilized,” he said. “Storage scaling is no longer about adding or buying boxes. CIOs need to think about technologies that reduce the overhead of duplicate data and eliminate wasted capacity, thus reclaiming storage capacity that has been paid for… [And] while deduplication is already a popular option for many CIOs, the year ahead will see more sophisticated storage efficiency technologies being utilised to further drive innovations, [among them] thin provisioning, cloning and data compression.”

The final point Loh stressed had to do with analytics. “The pressure on CIOs in the year ahead is to make sense of the structure and unstructured data flowing through their organisations,” he said. “To do this, CIOs must first understand the solution areas they need to target to spark business innovations and drive the speed of decision making in their organisations.”

Loh went on to tacklethe Big Data issue directly. “Big Data needs can therefore be classified into three key areas,” he said. “Content analytics—the need of organisations to take full advantage of their digital universe, and turn data into high-quality insights that enable smarter decisions.  High performance, [which] defines a need for organisations to perform complex analyses at extremely high speeds, while dealing with petabytes of data growth. [And] archiving content, which is the function that most organisations will seek  because they need a scalable solution to support petabytes of data, billions of files and objects, while eliminating physical storage boundaries.”

“The onset of the Big Data phenomenon will provide the impetus for organisations to examine their digital universe more closely, and lay the foundation for the right data management solution that can grow with their organisations,” said Loh, before dispensing some pithy advice. “While vendors are coming out with a variety of different solutions, the Big Data sector has yet to see the ideal one-size-fits-for-all solution. In selecting a solution for Big Data, our recommendation for CIOs is to look for a future-proof solution that does not introduce further complexity with each stage of business growth.”

 

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