cloud storage

Is higher ed facing an IT house of cards?

In order to prevent an infrastructure collapse, here are 7 key characteristics that define data platform and storage requirements for the cloud era.

Seven key characteristics that define data platform and storage requirements for the cloud era:

  • Silicon-optimized versus disk-optimized storage, to support gigabytes/second of bandwidth per application. The performance of SSD technology exceeds that of hard disk drive-based storage many times over.
  • An application architecture that can support 1,000s to 10,000s of composite applications sharing petabytes of data versus 10s to 100s of monolithic applications consuming terabytes of data siloed to each application.
  • Elastic scale to petabytes that allow organizations to pay as they grow with perpetual forward compatibility.
  • Full automation to minimize management resources required to maintain the platform.
  • The ability to support and span multiple cloud environments from core data centers to edge data centers, as well as across multi-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers.
  • An open development platform versus a closed ecosystem that includes complex one-off storage software solutions.
  • A subscription-consumption model that supports constant innovation and eliminates the churn and endless race to expand storage to meet growing needs and refresh every three to five years.

In a Flash

The use of all-flash storage is foundational to a data platform for the cloud era. It can introduce the same dramatic gains in IT service delivery previously brought about through virtualization and gigabit networks. It allows organizations to run all operations with the agility of the cloud, improve the economics of data analytics at high velocity and scale, and ultimately derive new insights to deliver data-driven customer results never before possible.

For years, organizations had to choose between the highest reliability (Tier 1 disk arrays) and storage purpose-built for the cloud era (modern all-flash arrays). Next-generation all-flash arrays are eliminating this compromise and unlocking new opportunities with Tier 1 reliability along with rich data services and native cloud integration.

Over the last few years, new enterprise-grade storage arrays that are purpose-built to take advantage of flash’s unique characteristics have come to market. These all-flash arrays (AFAs) are revolutionizing storage with cloud-like application consolidation that serves as a catalyst for both IT and business transformation. Flash media offers about 10 times the performance of traditional storage arrays with roughly a tenth of the power consumption.

In addition, flash media prices continue to fall, and, today, AFAs are typically less expensive in the long run than the storage solutions they replace, particularly when you consider the cost of maintenance and the down time associated with upgrades. They also can significantly increase efficiency, with built-in de-duplication and compression capabilities that reduce the hardware and power footprint in the data center. As such, flash is quickly becoming a strategic asset and the foundation for the data platform for the cloud.

When it comes to real estate, attention to curb appeal is important, but a strong foundation is paramount ‒and can’t be ignored. How do you balance the investment in each? Universities find themselves in a similar quandary when it comes to their IT ecosystems. By creating a data platform for the cloud era, however, universities can create a solid, sustainable and cost-effective storage foundation that frees resources needed for the innovation that students, faculty and staff expect from today’s higher education institutions.

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