Top tips when thinking about data storage solutions

A look at the top eight things government agencies should be looking for when considering a data storage solution

  • Consider multi cloud locations – Standalone backups are being replaced by replication in multiple cloud locations. Replication is a common way to ensure availability and durability, with geographic separation of replicas providing additional protection against local disruptions.

  • Ensure data at scale readily available – long-term data management models are developing with less concentration on bulk storage for rarely accessed data, and more focus on making data at scale readily accessible — with a goal to help the organisation leverage and get the most out of the data it collects.

  • Look at automated, policy – based management – as more data is collected and stored on the edge, there is a greater need for automated, policy-based management defining where and how that data is stored. This means each organisation must define a variety of locations where data will reside at different moments of its lifecycle, and what services will be performed on any data at a given time.

  • Avoid cloud- vendor lock in – data storage and movement policies should be designed to avoid cloud vendor lock-in, and to keep specific datasets and mass data from being trapped in silos, so that it can be freely accessed and moved as needed to specific cloud services or specific geographies where the data’s value can be leveraged at any given time.

  • New modes for moving data- It’s important that data managers understand new modes for moving data that enhance the ability to keep data in motion in order to realise its potential value. The goal should be to move data to wherever it creates the most value, using a model that supports rapid data transfer across edge and cloud storage environments while limiting egress and access fees.

  • Consider how long it will take to move data – data managers should seek tools and services that let the organisation transfer large amounts of data in days, rather than the weeks or months it takes when relying on the internet. A new class of enterprise-class mobile storage devices and services are now available and can serve as high-capacity edge storage solutions that enable businesses to aggregate, store, move and activate their data. The ideal solutions are scalable, modular, and vendor agnostic — integrated solutions that eliminate network dependencies, so organisations can transfer mass data sets in a fast, secure and efficient manner.

  • Ensure unstructured data can be stored – These new data activation techniques require a unified storage model that can manage and understand data that is unstructured. Cloud object storage is a format and data storage architecture that simplifies the storage and management of massive amounts of unstructured data. Cloud object storage treats discrete units of data as “objects” that can be stored in their native data format. Self-contained cloud objects contain three components: the data object, its descriptive metadata, and a unique identifier that allows APIs to find and retrieve the stored data. Compared with traditional file- and block-based database storage systems, the self-contained nature of each discrete unit of data, or “object”, in the cloud object storage model makes it more simple, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective to track, manage and leverage.

  • Deploy a disaster recovery plan – this enables business continuity in the event of primary data failure with whole-enterprise backup. An ideal approach is to transfer data to a colocation data centre with the ability to transfer it back in the event of disaster or data failure.

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