Data Storage as a Service can reduce both the workload and the cost of data storage for IBM i systems.
We hear it every day: Back up your information, secure your data. It is the elephant in the room, the voice that keeps on nagging. The threat of a data breach or loss of valuable data is real. Data disruption, whether through a breach or disaster, has major repercussions on all organizations, often ending in company closure. So why are so many organizations still piecing together their data storage and management solutions?
New storage and data management solutions are hitting the market daily. These new companies see an opportunity for a big payday, but they often fall short in offerings and support. Finding the right solution is becoming increasingly more difficult and overwhelming. A data storage provider should be your partner, not a one-time transaction.
An interesting new concept to IBM i users is virtual tape library (VTL) storage providers that offer data Storage as a Service (SaaS) instead of a large financial commitment and burden. The goal is to have your data storage provider manage your needs so you can get back to running your businesses. This model makes sense in almost every situation.
Data storage companies have the resources and knowledge to provide premium storage and management solutions. Technology is changing and constantly providing improvements and capabilities in data storage, and data storage providers should make sure each organization has the best possible solution, designed specifically to meet the needs of the company. Rather than wasting time researching the best solutions and newest technologies, today's IBM i shops should look for a data storage partner that offers customized solutions and can provide innovative features such as tiering, encryption, and deduplication. Also, seek out a partner that can create optimal solutions at a manageable monthly fee.
New compliance regulations continue to be implemented throughout every industry. One way to combat this is through encryption technology. Encryption refers to mathematical calculations and algorithmic schemes that transform data into an unreadable format, protecting valuable information from unauthorized users. IBM i users should make sure the VTL monthly service program includes encryption as part of an overall data storage and security solution.
IBM i customers can also look to SaaS models to provide adequate retention for data to meet mandatory compliance and regulation guidelines. Again, because regulations continue to change, having the flexibility to increase capabilities is key to the overall compliance plan. Depending on the industry, it might be important that your storage provider also carries credentials to handle highly secure data.
Data is exploding at a rapid rate. We can make predictions based on the current rate at which information is increasing, but to actually know how much storage an organization will need in the next 10 years is nearly impossible. Storage as a Service allows for the flexibility to scale storage as needed.
Virtual tape drives can be dynamically added to or removed from a virtual library on demand, during execution. Newer-generation VTL systems allow users configurations with multiple virtual libraries, yielding greater flexibility because backups from individual hosts can be kept on separate tapes. Companies can have a separately defined library that is shared and also back up to these virtual devices from multiple independent hosts simultaneously. This approach not only eliminates the need to maintain multiple physical tape backup drives, but also provides more central and shared backup and archival capabilities.
Data storage solutions can be a costly investment. Solutions need to be updated as needs change and as technology versions change or are phased out. Paying a flat fee based on data storage requirements is a cost-effective way to manage and store company data. Removing capital expenditures from technology expenses and associated service salaries from your technology budget can translate into significant cost savings.
Managing and monitoring data can be a full-time job, and depending on the size of an organization, full data management departments are often required. When problems occur, they can have big impacts on organizations. The SaaS model provides 24x7 data support, which can provide great peace of mind in the event of a middle-of-the-night or weekend problem.
Data SaaS can reduce both the workload and the cost of data storage for IBM i shops. With data growing at rapid speeds, technology changing even faster, and increased regulatory compliance, the SaaS model can provide organizations flexibility and less headache when it comes to data storage.