Understanding how your data is being accessed can help you optimize your storage environment, free critical resources, and save you money. Here’s how you can harness intelligent data management and get off your lazy NAS.

The challenges of data growth are plentiful. Organizations find themselves preserving data for longer periods of time while more stakeholders require access to historical data in real-time. In an effort to reduce costs, too many organizations move data into “siloed” tiers where it becomes difficult to search or use. But you don’t have to. There’s a better way to reduce your storage costs and harness your data.

Data Priorities

In my former life as a storage administrator, I always had to walk the fine line of finding the right storage tier to match performance, reliability and scalability. If budgets were endless, why wouldn’t you leverage all flash-arrays for all block and file workloads? Sounds like a dream come true, but that’s also like buying a race car to drive 25 mph through your neighborhood. It doesn’t make sense, and no one has the budget for it.

Another big issue we faced was understanding our data profile. What do I mean by data profile? I mean knowing how often your data is being accessed by applications and end users. My team did not have the insight or tools to truly understand our data profile.

Our priority would be to ensure all Tier 1/production applications have the appropriate resources and storage allocated to allow for plenty of growth and performance. Our backups would also lean on the conservative side, by having multiple copies in multiple sites to ensure recovery in the case of a disaster.  Our motto was, “worse case, back it up and keep it forever”.

All of this data resided on expensive enterprise NAS arrays. As we hit capacity, our team would add additional shelves until we hit the limit for the controllers, we would then either add additional controllers or upgrade the current ones.

How Much Are You Paying to Store Cold Data?

For most IT organizations this is the reality. Both hot and cold data is being stored, replicated and backed-up exactly where users put it – on expensive Tier 1 storage. Yet typically 60% of an organization’s data is cold, and has not been accessed in over a year.[1]

Although organizations’ data needs to be available instantaneously for analytics and other monetization projects, but it doesn’t need to sit in that race car while it’s waiting at the stop light…

If my team had the ability to intelligently know which data was hot, warm or cold, that would have given us the ability to offload cold data to a more economical data tier, such as highly-scalable and reliable object storage. We would have looked like heroes. This was not the case and we just continued on our path of throwing more of the same at the problem.

Data management has evolved a long way; so has object storage.

Intelligent Data Management – Understand Your Data

Western Digital has partnered with Komprise to allow IT organizations the ability to “understand your data” and extend their traditional NAS environment (NFS, CIFS/SMB) with the scale, economics, and efficiency of ActiveScale cloud object storage systems.

How it works? The Komprise software enables businesses to manage their data intelligently by identifying inactive data across a customer’s storage and transparently moving infrequently accessed data to cost-efficient options, such as Western Digital’s ActiveScale cloud object storage or public cloud —all without any changes to user or application access. This cuts up to 60% of cold data storage costs and allows you to reclaim critical NAS space and regain performance.

Komprise is truly intelligent data management. It moves data transparently—without using any proprietary agents or static links on the storage systems (mechanisms that have caused problems traditionally).  Komprise preserves the file-based access on which your file hierarchies, applications, and users rely. There is no change to manage for users and applications—they continue to see and access the data as they did before without disruption.

A Complete Intelligent Data Management Solution

Western Digital ActiveScale cloud object storage system and Komprise combine to create a complete intelligent data management solution for Enterprise IT environments.

Komprise analyzes, provides visibility and automatically moves data across NAS and cloud storage based on your policies to transparently archive data. ActiveScale has the advantage of scalability, performance, and economics for the inactive data you want to archive but instantly access when you need it.

Be a hero and deviate from the norm. Think outside the box and know your data.

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[1] Based on Komprise customer demographics details at: https://www.komprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Biz-Value-Report-final-web.pdf


Kurt is director of data protection and cloud solutions with 20+ years’ experience spanning Enterprise Data Center, Cloud & Data Protection.