Last Updated on January 21, 2023 by Josh Mahan
In today’s world, effective data storage management is vital. However, regulatory compliance and security have made data storage more complex and challenging. As data volumes continue to grow, how can you effectively store them? Managers and administrators must understand the tools and procedures for effective data storage management. Let’s look at data storage and the best practices for your data center.
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What Is Data Storage Management (and Do You Need It?)
In basic terms, storage management allows users to access data when they need it. Data storage is typically left up to the storage administrators or the IT department. One of the critical elements of storage management is the data retention policy. That policy defines what type of data is retained for both compliance and operational needs. In short, this policy describes why the organization must keep the data, the amount of time for retention, and the process of data disposal. It can help an organization determine who can search and access all its data.
Why is a retention policy important? As the data volume increases, these policies can help reduce costs and storage space.
Data storage management also includes resource configuration, provisioning structured and unstructured data, and evaluating how the organization’s needs could change over time. When it comes time for implementation, the management of this data can help ease any administrative burdens while meeting all of those organizational needs. Any effective data storage management tool should include performance monitoring, compression, deduplication, and storage planning capabilities.
Benefits and Challenges of Data Storage Management
Data storage management has plenty of advantages, but there are many challenges too. On the plus side, data storage management protects against data loss and improves performance. When you have an effective management system, your storage systems will perform well for all users. In addition to that, that data is safeguarded from human errors, system failures, and outside threats. Don’t forget about adding disaster recovery and backups to a data protection strategy.
When you have an effective data management strategy, you can give users the ideal amount of storage capacity so that the organization can scale up and down any storage space as needed. That strategy can help accommodate any changes to the organization’s applications and other needs. Storage managers can also help centralize data management so that administrators can oversee various storage systems. As a result, there are reduced operational costs as the admins can better the available storage resources.
Now that you know some of the benefits, there are a few drawbacks. Data storage management must constantly face cyber threats, a distributed workforce, and regulations. It is vital to implement a comprehensive plan that protects the data against malware attacks, ransomware, and data breaches.
Compliance is another issue. If there is a lack of compliance, the organization can be hit with hefty fines.
The data storage management plan must also meet the needs of remote workers, with access to applications and files just like a traditional office setting. Complex and distributed systems are a challenge for data storage management. When the workers are spread out, the system will have to operate in the cloud and at a physical location. The one-site premises storage environment often includes SSDs, HDDs, and tapes. Many organizations run multiple clouds, increasing the complexity of the system.
There is also a question about unstructured data, including emails, photos, videos, documents, and metadata. This data complicates storage management issues since volume is always a challenge with unstructured data. Some organizations might not want to spend the time and money to manage unstructured data. However, managing this type of data can reduce costs and save storage space.
Data Storage Management Strategies
There are several types of data storage management practices and processes. Many organizations are using standards-based storage interfaces. With media, some administrators opt for a hybrid drive with high-speed SSD technology to incorporate a high-capacity HDD. All organizations must choose between object, block, and file storage. For HDDs and SSDs, block storage is the default type of storage, improving storage performance. Folders are a simple solution for file storage, while object storage can help organize all of that unstructured data for a low cost.
With both external and internal threats, security is vital for any data storage management plan. Proper security ensures the availability and protection of the data by setting up accessibility for authorized users and stopping any unauthorized access. Security should have a tier to allow the monitoring and encryption of the data.
Another way to keep data safe is with offline storage. When threats cannot reach the data, they cannot hack it. While offline data storage is often not feasible, it is an essential aspect of a solid security storage plan.
Regulation compliance has always been critical for data storage management. Many laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act, have addressed data storage. All organizations must understand those demands to ensure compliance with their data storage management. With a robust data storage management plan, an organization can understand where the data is located, which is a significant compliance component. Immutable data storage can help an organization to achieve compliance by ensuring the retained data will not change.
The Future of Data Storage Management
Data storage administrators must be ready to adapt to this evolving field. Cloud storage was popular before the pandemic, but it has skyrocketed in the past two years. Any data administrator must understand various cloud storage management tools, such as hybrid, cloud-native data, cloud data protection, and multi-cloud storage. As administrators become more aware of these emerging technologies, they can help create a better data storage management plan for their organizations.
Data storage management is vital for any organization. With the right tools and plans in place, an administrator can safely store and secure all of that valuable data.
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