Overlooked and misunderstood by those beyond the walls of any knowing IT department, data storage just isn't that sexy -- but that doesn't make it any less important. As we enter an age characterised by the unprecedented growth of information, data storage will be of the essence where it can actually be a vital tool for CIOs to simplify IT in the enterprise.
A look back in time puts it all into perspective. When IBM launched the first computer with a hard disk drive (HDD) in 1956, it weighed over a ton and was the size of two large refrigerators. The contraption, almost unrecognisable today, held 5MB of data in comparison to the 4GB USB drives we now slip into our pockets. Some IT analysts go as far as to say that the hard disk market will be near non-existent in the next decade.
It's undeniable the evolution of technology and exponential growth of data is truly staggering. These days, we don't talk about megabytes, but in terms of terabytes, exabytes and zettabytes. For an idea of the scale, a terabyte is the equivalent of a line of filing cabinets stretched from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles.
In 2011 global data consumption reached 1.8 zettabytes. That's the equivalent of 200 billion HD movies, all 120 minutes long. Watching them all without a break would take 47 million years! Put another way, if all the data consumed in 2011 was packed into 32GB iPads, you could build a stack 25 times higher than Mt. Fuji.
Dizzy yet? Consider too that the amount of data on the planet is expected to double over the next four years. Yet as data volumes continue to skyrocket, businesses have been slow to adjust to the changing tech landscape.
Storage helps make IT simpler
"IT systems are trying to operate in the same way, which leads to decreased manageability. But what Oracle is offering as a solution, is to revolutionise the enterprise game by simplifying IT with storage," Daniel Ong, Regional Storage Lead at Oracle Corporation, told IT executives gathered at an Executive Briefing held at Bangkok's Intercontinental Hotel last June.
Ong highlighted a customer case study of Oracle client MDA Federal, a geospatial services firm. MDA Federal on average analyses and archives more than 2PB of satellite mapping data. The company manages IT systems for some 250 users with only four IT staff.
MDA Federal's CTO and VP of IT, Christopher Peterson was looking to enhance service offerings with minimal IT investment, and enable scientists to focus on their specialties, instead of data management.
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