As government regulations and legislation become more stringent and data is required to be retained for longer periods of time, organisations are struggling to manage the explosion of information emanating from their various business divisions.That’s the opinion of Kevin Dees, Professional Services Manager of EMC Southern Africa, who says there is a marked tendency for companies to store all their data on one tier.
“Although storing data on a single tier is a natural evolution from legacy technologies and IT practices, it is no longer practical or cost effective,” Dees points out. “For example, any large corporation needs to store copies of invoices which are sent to its customers. After three or four years, these invoices have less value than more current documentation, and therefore should no longer be kept on the first tier of storage, which is also the most expensive.”
The information explosion has been further exacerbated by the advent of richer data such as video and photographs, all of which consume more power and space. This in turn requires bigger data centres and increases costs.
EMC’s Consulting Services team helps organisations to appreciate the value of their information and to structure their storage infrastructures accordingly. This includes transitioning data to lower-cost storage facilities.“This approach enables organisations to optimise their storage infrastructure and avoid buying expensive storage unnecessarily. By creating awareness and articulating information lifecycle management (ILM), companies can align their storage arrays for optimal use,” Dees says.
The Consulting Services team also helps companies to understand regulatory issues, thereby minimising compliance risks while simultaneously optimising their expenditure on storage, space and power consumption. According to Dees, optimising the storage infrastructure is a critical step in the virtualisation of data centre assets (the initial steps in the journey to the private cloud). “The way we consume computing today is set to change completely,” he says. “Over time, it will become another utility in that we will consume services and be billed for those services. When the consumption is halted, the billing will stop.
“As customers begin to consolidate and optimise their storage infrastructures and begin virtualisation discussions, they are preparing for the future – cloud computing.”
The EMC Consulting Services team also offers application consulting to its customers, which entails developing software applications in partnership with the client to fulfil a need which is specific to their business. Examples include software which assists with understanding procurement practices and how to better manage expenditure as well as optimising the potential of Java-based technologies. In addition, the team assists customers with major migration initiatives such as moving from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Microsoft Exchange 2010.