Today’s digital economy is increasing exponentially. Organizations that have existed for decades in industries that range from auto manufacturers to high-end retail to athletic apparel – have rebranded as technology companies. As a result of this increasing digitization most products and services we use on a daily basis – cell phones, laptops, watches, even the airbags in our cars – are generating massive amounts of data.
In that data lies value. But, it’s buried. Think of a storage array as a haystack. Now, imagine you need to find a specific piece of hay – immediately – to be successful. Or to understand the genetic correlation between two random pieces of hay in the stack – immediately. This is the challenge modern businesses face in the age of data. Today, there is a wealth of valuable business information rushing back and forth between customer and vendor, and even more data that can be correlated between historical records and publicly-available sources. This is called “unstructured data” – it is high in volume, and quick analysis is required to capitalize on that value.
Traditionally, unstructured data has been stored over long periods of time to keep a record, history or backup of an organization’s digital transactions. But with the advent of large-scale data analytics, unstructured data has gone from IT afterthought to critical business tool.
Imagine a scenario in which one company knows the best place, time and channel to reach its prospects. A second company does not. Company One has an advantage that Company Two simply cannot overcome.
Today’s business environment requires a data platform that enables organizations to build a new class of applications, and to extract new insights from data. And instead of analyzing this data every once-in-a-while as we’ve done in the past – we need a platform that can analyze it in real-time. We call this the “Data Advantage.” Without an infrastructure in place that supports mission-critical analytics at real-time speed, organizations leave money on the table.
Today, many companies are “born digital.” But there are five steps any organization can follow to give itself a data-driven edge on the competition.
- Make all business applications faster with flash. Flash, unlike its predecessor disk, was born in the digital age. Flash is purpose-built to handle today’s increasingly complex, performance-reliant workloads, and most importantly is best equipped to organically integrate future technologies. For example, NVMe – a new communication protocol rapidly replacing SAS in consumer devices– is ripe for enterprises to take advantage of if, and only if, they run on flash.
- Build an all-flash data lake for unstructured data. Flash as a medium, is, quite simply, faster than disk. Flash adoption, however, has been largely relegated to structured workloads. We expect to see a shift toward flash-based high-performance systems that run with extreme efficiency and can handle huge data sets.
- Transform application data storage with NVM Express (NVMe). NVMe is a communication protocol that has seen wide adoption in consumer devices in recent years. While NVMe is currently considered a niche, high-performance technology – similar to the market’s view of flash circa 2014 – we believe that, as a fundamentally faster protocol than SAS, NVMe will be the new standard in a short order.
- Deploy next-generation converged infrastructure solutions, optimized for cloud environments and “new stack” applications. Assemble best-of-breed technologies at every layer to gain all the technological advantages offered today and tomorrow.
- Make application development and data protection easy. We’ve covered durability, reliability and efficiency, but the popularity of public cloud has proven beyond a doubt that organizations value simplicity as much or more than anything else. Find opportunities to link on-prem storage arrays seamlessly with the public cloud, application development, DevOps and data protection workflows.