The data growth is unrelenting. According to a report from IDC, the amount of data created and replicated in 2020 was 64 zettabytes (ZB), equivalent to 64 thousand exabytes or 64 trillion gigabytes. And IDC expects this number to reach 175ZB of data creation by 2025.

The growth of data has a profound impact on businesses and organizations. Companies can now collect and analyze vast amounts of data to gain insights into customer behavior, optimize operations, and develop new products and services. A critical part of data collection and analysis is finding actionable insights through complex systems and databases that allow businesses to extract value from their data.

There are tremendous benefits from collecting and analyzing data for the organization. At the same time, data creation can lead to a number of business challenges, including:

  1. Data storage and management: With increased data creation, businesses must find ways to store and manage data efficiently and securely.
  2. Data security: As data creation increases, businesses must ensure the data is secure and protected from unauthorized access.
  3. Data analysis: With more data being created, businesses must find ways to analyze the data in order to gain insights and make informed decisions.
  4. Data privacy: As data creation increases, businesses must ensure that the data is used responsibly and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

In this blog, we are focused on the data storage and management. When it comes to data management, collecting all the data from various sources, such as customer surveys, market research, and internal databases, can be the easier part of this process. As the data is collected and moved into secure databases to identify trends and patterns, the volume of data being analyzed begins to drive different storage behaviors.

Organizations are constantly evaluating their storage performance and its lifecycle. Decisions around when and how to manage storage are imperative. Data loss, downtime, and security are all huge concerns that often lead to hesitancy about installing new storage solutions.

In today’s economy, there are additional concerns about buying new on-premises storage related to purchasing above current capacity needs. For those businesses that have moved to the cloud, right sizing their storage is another consideration that fuels data mobility decisions. We’ll look at right sizing cloud storage in a future post. (You can read a blog on our solution with Azure, here.)

Let’s look in more detail at three reasons businesses deploy new on-premises storage and need to migrate their data.

Migrating to New Location (Data Relocation)
Data Migration is needed when data and applications must be moved from one location to another, such as during a datacenter relocation or consolidation. These migrations are especially popular among large multinational enterprise organizations where data is frequently moved from place to place.

Migration performance and the ability to conduct live data migration are especially important in this type of migration due to the potentially limited bandwidth between the source and destination.

Migrating to New Storage (Storage Refresh)
A storage refresh is possibly the most common use case for data migration. Organizations acquire new storage for many reasons, and each storage refresh requires moving production workloads from old storage to new storage. Cost, features, reliability, and performance are among the popular reasons organizations acquire new storage.

Storage refreshes may include physical storage changes as well as storage protocol changes (from iSCSI to FC, FC to iSCSI, and other proprietary protocols, etc.)

The ability to transparently and non-disruptively launch and perform data migration without downtime is crucial to this type of migration to eliminate unnecessary impact on business applications in production.

Migrating to a New Platform (Infrastructure Refresh)
Infrastructure refreshes occur all the time within organizations, especially when operations scale through natural growth or acquisition or when new technology is available. These refreshes can be prompted by a desire to move application workloads from one hosting location or state to another, from physical environments to virtual environments (virtualization), to private cloud or hyperconverged infrastructures, to public cloud, between cloud providers, or even when exiting the cloud to a managed datacenter.

Often migrating storage data is one part of a much wider-scoped infrastructure-change operation carried out over a more extended period. Many different types of applications, operating systems, filesystems, infrastructure platforms, and providers are usually involved.

As a result, having a single integrated migration solution that works natively with many platforms and vendors has become vital for efficiency and manageability for organizations that value data mobility. Using multiple tools and solutions for the scenarios detailed above merely introduces unnecessary complexity and increases the risk of human error, factors that can lead to increased cost and downtime.

Future for data migration.

As the volume of data required for applications and databases continue to grow unabated, we expect businesses to accelerate plans to optimize their storage. For many organizations, it means taking advantage of the capabilities offered by cloud providers. The move to cloud storage for block data (applications and databases) is just beginning. We’ll talk more about cloud storage its impact on data mobility in a future post.

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