Special Feature

Storage : The Underrated Aspect of Computing

Because businesses use data to derive information for their day-to-day operations, likewise storage is a repository that enables them to store and retrieve this digital data.

In today’s world information is increasingly important. Twenty-first century inhabitants are dependents on information, living in an on-command, on-demand world which means that we have a need for information whenever and wherever it is required. On a daily basis we access the internet for searches, to check social media, receive and send emails, share photos and videos, and whole other spectrum of applications. Since we have at our disposal a growing number of content-generating devices, more and more information are being created by individuals rather than by organizations. And this information, which is being created by individuals gains value when it is shared with others. Usually the information is located on devices like mobile phones, laptops, ipads. To circulate this information it has to be uploaded via a network to other data centres. While the behemoth task of creating information is done by individuals, it is important to note that it is stored and managed by a small number of niche organizations.

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“With the continued digital push by the Government as well as the private sector, several analysts and industry experts opine that the demand for compute and storage will further go up.”

Srikanth Doranadula
Senior Director and Head-Systems
Oracle.

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The volume of the information, its dependency and its value added importance in the business world continues to grow at an interesting rate. It is no secret that businesses these days depend on fast and reliable access to information which in turn in very critical to its success. Some of the famous examples of this include airline reservations, ATMs, e-commerce, telephone billing systems, inventory management, product designs, e-mail archives, credit cards, web portals, global capital markets and many more.

Because of the increasingly critical status of the impact that information has on businesses there is an inherent need to manage and protect the data which is very important. Because of the humungous volume of data in storage system business, there are strategies to classify data according to its value and rules have been created for the treatment of the same. Apart from providing financial and regulatory benefits, they also provide manageability benefits to the organizations. Because of the ever changing scenario, data centres now view information storage as one of their core elements along with operating systems, networks, databases and applications. The technology for storage continues to evolve with advancements in technical aspects which increase the ease of availability, security, scalability, performance, integrity, and manageability.

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“With Dell EMC‘s holistic server portfolio, innovations and solutions-centric approach, we believe that we are best positioned to become the right digital partners for our customers, helping them deliver their best business potential.”

Manish Gupta
Senior Director & General Manager – Data Center Compute Organization
Dell Technologies, India.

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As per IDC’s APAC quarterly reports on enterprise storage, India’s external storage market witnessed a growth of 23.1% YoY (by vendor revenue) and stood at $81.8 million in Q3 2018. A study by Frost & Sullivan states that the APAC region is among the fastest growing markets for enterprise data storage in the world. With emergence of disruptive technologies like cloud, AI/ML, Autonomous database, blockchain, IoT, the market opportunities for storage in India continues to mature. There have been demands for storage coming from various sectors such as banking, manufacturing, and many more. Indian organisations are focusing on using intelligent data to drive their business in the digital economy. However, enterprises need to ensure they safeguard data and put it to the best possible system to store that data and bring competitive advantages.

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“One of the biggest challenges will be gathering and integrating data from different sources. Organisations looking to adopt AI might also struggle to overcome operational issues and identify the right technology or service partners.”

Kaushal Veluri
Director-Channels & Alliances
NetApp India & SAARC

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“We have consistently seen growth for the storage market in India. Our storage strategy ensures that Oracle software runs faster and more efficiently on Oracle storage. With the continued digital push by the Government as well as the private sector, several analysts and industry experts opine that the demand for compute and storage will further go up. Hybrid IT environments are definitely on the rise, and we’re increasingly seeing businesses in regulated industries opting for a cloud-like model but within their own premises. For instance, Oracle Cloud at Customer is a unique solution that provides businesses with all the virtues of a public cloud environment – agility, simplicity, performance, elastic scaling, and subscription pricing – in their datacenter. From a product portfolio, we offer one of the broadest solution suite in the industry. With Oracle Servers, we offer organizations a path to future-proof their business with a modern, secure, cloud-ready infrastructure that enable you to deploy your mission-critical applications,” says Srikanth Doranadula, Senior Director and Head-Systems, Oracle.

The top new technology trends in storage that is going to disrupt the industry in 2019:

  • Cloud will bolster AI development – With 55% of organisations in Asia Pacific already implementing AI this year, they are expected to deploy cloud based AI software and service tools in 2019. It will ensure that AI applications deliver high performance and scalability, both on and off premises, and support multiple data access protocols and varied new data formats.
  • Edge devices will get smarter – Indian IOT market is expected to reach 2 billion connections and unlock $11.1 billion of revenue by 2022, according to an Assocham EY Report. To take advantage of the resulting data deluge, IoT devices and applications will therefore increasingly come with built in services such as data analysis and data reduction and this will enable the organizations to make better, faster and smarter decisions.
  • Building hybrid & multi cloud will be a choice – Hybrid, multi cloud will be the default IT infrastructure for most of the larger organisations. They will be able to easily move workloads across environments by using technologies like containers and data fabric. On the other hand, some smaller organisations will choose the simplicity and consistency of a single cloud provider.

“Deployment of new-age workloads such as AI, ML, cloud, analytics etc., have fueled India’s digital transformation journey, leading to an emergence of a data-driven ecosystem. To ride this wave of data explosion and stay ahead of the competitive curve, businesses are now investing heavily to modernize their IT infrastructure. This has accelerated the demand for servers across industries, as they form the bedrock of the modern data center, which would enable companies to become more agile, intelligent, competitive and adaptive”, says Manish Gupta, Senior Director & General Manager – Data Center Compute Organization, Dell Technologies, India. “The server industry in 2019 will owe its growth to a gamut of factors such as growth of edge computing, rising security concerns, increased digital first approach by customers etc. With Dell EMC‘s holistic server portfolio, innovations and solutions-centric approach, we believe that we are best positioned to become the right digital partners for our customers, helping them deliver their best business potential.”

Organizations have to maintain data centers in order to provide centralized data processing capabilities throughout their enterprise. Data centers store and manage massive amounts of critical data. The data center infrastructure includes computers, storage systems, network devices, dedicated power backups, and environmental controls. The big organizations usually maintain more than one data center to distribute data processing workloads and provide backups in the event something goes wrong. The storage requirements of a data center are met by a combination of various storage architectures.

When it comes to new challenges and opportunities for storage in the Indian market, Kaushal Veluri, Director-Channels & Alliances, NetApp India & SAARC says, “We are seeing the increased adoption of AI in Asia-Pacific. However, as per a Forrester study on AI, the adoption is going to be little challenging and will hinder organisational abilities to take advantage of the many benefits AI technology promises to offer. One of the biggest challenges will be gathering and integrating data from different sources. Organisations looking to adopt AI might also struggle to overcome operational issues and identify the right technology or service partners. The best way to deal with these challenges is for the CIOs to choose partners who offer expertise in data management as well as in building precise and effective models, so they can get started towards making the most of everything AI has to offer.”

In today’s world, businesses can’t help but generate vast amounts of data and then they have to extract meaningful information from this data in order to derive economic benefits. Hence, businesses need to maintain data and ensure its availability over a longer period.

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