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Logicalis US Outlines Six Steps to Better Storage

Solution Provider Helps IT Pros Define their Data Transformation Journey

NEW YORK, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With an unprecedented influx of corporate data that's getting larger by the minute, storage administrators are being challenged to just keep pace, much less maintain control.  And there's no relief in sight: Analysts predict data production will be 44 times larger in 2020 than it was in 2009, yet even sophisticated IT departments are relying on decades-old data storage technologies and strategies.  It's clear that something has to change, but a desire to avoid capital expenditures and an "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mindset have left CIOs and their battle-weary storage admins wondering where to begin.  That's why Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), has created a roadmap, the Data Transformation Journey, giving IT pros a six-step plan that takes them from treating storage as a cost to leveraging data as an asset, offering a springboard for discussion at each stage along the way.

Business and Technology Working as One

"As the old adage says, 'failing to plan is planning to fail,'" warns Bob Hankins, Vice President, Data and Storage Solutions, Logicalis US.  "Everyone from the C-suite down has heard about big data and what it can mean in terms of competitive advantage – and they want to tap into that.  But when what you can collect is defined by the physical container size of your storage, and when you haven't implemented a plan that includes managed services like disaster recovery as a service or storage as a service, you're going to find your line-of-business managers going outside of IT to procure better storage solutions.  The problem is, they can't protect the data or manage loss prevention the way IT can, which creates the potential for significant data loss.   When it comes to growing, managing, analyzing and protecting your company's data – your most valuable digital assets – hope is not a strategy, but a data transformation roadmap with defined steps is most definitely a step in the right direction."

Six Steps to Better Storage

  1. Components: You know you're stuck in the components stage if you're purchasing equipment in a reactive mode without being able to align those purchases to a business plan or outline how they fit into a cap-ex vs. op-ex financial model.  If new storage needs seem to appear out of nowhere and you don't have a handle on the performance, availability and efficiency of your existing storage, you're ready for a change.  To move beyond this stage, you need a virtualized environment where storage can be shared among users or departments, and you need the tools to identify the performance and remaining capacity available to be used.
  2. Storage Services: If you can't define your future storage needs and, when you try, management sees storage as under-used and overly expensive, you're headed toward a roadblock.  Additionally, if your disaster recovery relies on backups, and if your team is putting too much effort into managing multiple storage platforms, you may be mired in the second stage of your data transformation journey.  A common storage platform could help.  And you definitely could benefit from advanced techniques that include automation and availability as well as a disaster recovery plan that takes you from restore to replication.
  3. File Services: In this stage, you may find that your servers are bulging with older files, but users have no incentive to clean them out, backups don't complete in a timely manner, and a full restore following a disaster seems insurmountable.  To move ahead, start by establishing retention rules along with the tools to enforce them and archive older data.  Also, by implementing a chargeback plan, you will encourage department heads to have staff clean out old files, freeing existing storage space.
  4. Information Services: Unexamined, unindexed, unstructured data can be both a liability and a lost opportunity.  You may not know which files are useful or potentially damaging to the organization when the number of unstructured files grows too large.  You need an indexing system that will allow you to find data when you need it, giving you fast, fingertip access to the information you need when you need it most.
  5. Knowledge Services: When different kinds of data are siloed – structured data in databases, semi-structured in email systems, and unstructured in file servers or content management systems, for example – confusion abounds.  If you've realized that the validity of data from your systems is questionable and there's no process for updating systems periodically, reporting and visualization across systems becomes tough, if not impossible to accomplish.  You need a solution that will help you validate, integrate and rationalize the different systems and tools that allow data to be accessed uniformly and reported easily.
  6. Emergent Services: Once you've reached this step, your storage systems are operating well overall.  Storage is predictable and efficient.  Both structured and unstructured data are usable and managed throughout their lifecycle.  You may find that data analysis is a bit slower than you'd like, and unless analysts ask just the right questions, the data that comes back is not hitting the mark, leading to mismatches between the organization's perception and reality.  You could benefit from a big data analytics solution that can yield immediate value for your organization based on its unique data crunching needs.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.

Logicalis employs nearly 3,500 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of approximately $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

Business and technology working as one
To learn more about Logicalis activities through a variety of social media outlets, click here.

Media contacts:
Lisa Dreher, VP, Marketing & Business Development, Logicalis US
lisa.dreher@us.logicalis.com 425-201-8111
www.us.logicalis.com

Karen Franse, Communication Strategy Group for Logicalis US
kfranse@gocsg.com
866-997-2424
www.gocsg.com

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