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Five Stupid Things About Enterprise File Storage

Ross Kelly

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Enterprise file storage
Andy Hardy, Regional VP EMEA & APJ at Nasuni, outlines some of the key limitations of enterprise file storage.

“Data really matters in businesses,” according to Andy Hardy, Regional VP EMEA & APJ at Nasuni.

“It’s the lifeblood that’s used by some CIOs as duct tape to join people and processes together. It’s the glue between human and machine processes, as well.”

Most importantly, Hardy explained, it represents “80 to 90 percent” of enterprise data storage in most business environments.

Speaking at DIGIT Leader 2021, Hardy outlined what he believes to be some of the stupid things that enterprises do in regard to file storage, and how the cloud is transforming processes.

“I think the catalyst for change is the cloud and the ways in which it can impact how we do so many things in IT and in our lives in general,” he said.

Read on to explore the five stupid things about enterprise file storage, in Hardy’s own words.

Alternatively, you can check out his talk from DIGIT Leader 2021 on YouTube.

 

It will always run out of disk space

For many of us, this has been the only way to manage file storage historically. With finite, fixed capacity per location.

So you buy another shelf when you run out of space. You need more in Paris, but you’ve bought more than you need in London? It’s simply not fungible.

In 2021, thanks to the cloud there are better options. But there are some tricks to the trade of leveraging that near infinite and very low cost capacity that is in the cloud.

It’s 2021 and you still need a separate backup copy?

It’s often not just a single backup copy. People tend to want multiple copies – daily, weekly, monthly and so on.

Plus, of course, offsite copies. You might have old LTO versions that you can’t even read from anymore and yet we keep making copy after copy of this stuff.

That’s very expensive and leads onto the next problem, which is…

It takes longer to restore files than get vaccinated

This is the ‘Achilles Heel’ of storage backup recovery. It’s always been the restore process that’s been the hard part of this.

We’ve heard horror stories of this – of images taking days to rebuild and recover from the cloud, and this happened to one of our customers, Pernod Ricard.

It took them three business days to rebuild their files on-prem in Amsterdam after an outage.

The business didn’t like that, but it was simple physics to this. They had such large volumes of data but not enough bandwidth and it just took time.

Restore and the time it takes, that’s one of the most stupid things about file storage, I would suggest.

It’s so complex, it requires a rocket scientist

The luxury of dedicated backup admins and storage admins might not be practical for everyone – or you might use an external third party to handle this.

IT these days requires everyone to manage more and do it remotely in recent circumstances.

Having to integrate complex primary NAS (Network Attached Storage), secondary storage, backup, DR, ROBO sites and their requirements or the WAN infrastructure that glues it all together has created hugely complex and expensive solutions, which leads me to our final stupid thing…

All of this costs way too much

It’s not just cost, either. It’s the time it takes. You might not have time to manage it all and that leaves the business at risk.

What if you haven’t tested if your backups or recovery processes are working and only find out they’re not up to it after you’ve suffered a ransomware attack, for example?

Why have things become like this? More than anything, I think that enterprise file storage has become too complex than it needs to be.

And this is inherent in legacy global file storage architectures that are typically seen in enterprise environments.

Making the case for the cloud

Historically with capacity on-prem we’d always run out of something.

It could be the sheer numbers of terabytes you could stuff into a box, the number of files in a directory. Or, perhaps, the number of snapshots, users or locations.

Wherever it was there would be a constraint that was borne of the box that we put it.

With the cloud, we’ve got an infinite sized box.

By moving to a cloud-based file system we’re able to have no limits on these parameters found in hardware-based architectures.

That’s even if those hardware architectures have been lifted and put into the cloud, and there’s plenty of examples of that where the on-prem architecture is also available in the cloud.

But without changing the architecture, you’re still going to have a finite amount of disc space, of files and directories or a finite number of snapshots and a need for backups and therefore a limitation on the number of locations I can access that from.

The cloud enables us to break through that.


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Cloud First Summit 2021 | Join the Debate

The shift to Cloud-based storage processes will be a key theme at the upcoming Cloud First Virtual Summit, held on 23rd June.

The conference will bring together senior technologists, Cloud architects and business transformation specialists to explore new advancements and best practice.

Register your free place now at: www.cloudfirstsummit.com

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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