by Jim Holland
You’ve probably heard the one about 90% of the world’s data having been generated in the last two years alone. But the detail behind this data explosion is bordering on unbelievable.
It’s midday in South Africa at the time of writing and 3 billion Google Searches have already been completed worldwide, at a rate of 69,949 searches per second. And in the time it took me to write the previous sentence, 2 million more searches had already been amassed.
Furthermore, every minute sees 16 million text messages sent, 176,220 Skype calls occurring and, more worryingly, 103.4 million spam emails hitting inboxes. While the rise of always-on entertainment and social media is seeing 2.1 million Snaps, 4.3 million YouTube video views, 473,400 tweets, 750,000 Spotify song streams and 1,111 Amazon packages shipped every minute.
This growth in data is intriguing and the numbers are fascinating, but it’s also creating major problems for businesses. They require innovative ways to manage the explosion and transformation of data as traditional storage no longer meets their needs.
However, this data explosion is taking place while their IT budgets tighten and IT teams are stretched covering new responsibilities. They somehow have to perform the Herculean task of storing, managing and gaining value from their data, while also guaranteeing uptime and scalability, keeping costs down and meeting demand for innovation.
These factors, combined with a wider business drive to achieve digital transformation goals, demand a modern approach to data storage. One that moves businesses away from the burdens of legacy technology yet can easily be integrated into existing systems, embrace emerging technologies and reduce costs.
Superior storage solutions
To overcome their data storage challenges, organisations will need technology that simplifies the deployment and management of data, future-proofs their infrastructure, and provides agility and speed around enterprise applications.
The key is flexibility, particularly having the choice to unify data management across on-premise or in the cloud, add capacity seamlessly across environments as they grow, and merge all-flash and hybrid flash storage nodes into a larger storage cluster and connect them to the cloud.
Not only does this ensure core IT requirements are met, at the same time organisations can keep pace with evolving models and applications that employees demand access to. For example, businesses can now have Oracle, SAP, Microsoft SQL Server, virtual desktop infrastructure and VMware workloads up and running in less than 10 minutes, transforming previously complex, laborious jobs into simple tasks.
An opportunity for the channel
The data deluge offers a real opportunity to channel vendors. They can help businesses meet the storage demands of the data-intensive digital age by stocking highly flexible and efficient storage solutions.
There’s now a broad range of industry-leading storage products available to businesses, ranging from the most basic block disc through to high-level software-defined offerings. Savvy channel players will see this as an additional revenue stream, a chance to leverage skills they already have and an opportunity to move into a new space.
The challenge is now for channel firms to hold best-in-class inventory and push the product into the classic SMB market where speed and velocity are just as vital as quality.
Our recently announced partnership with NetApp, for example, aims to address the major changes taking place across the storage market and solve businesses’ biggest data centre challenges. The partnership brings ONTAP enterprise data management software on top of Lenovo’s storage platform, hardware and disks through our ThinkSystem DM series.
This provides an exciting new opportunity for channel vendors to have an end-to-end Lenovo solution, from networking to computing to storage. They’ll now be able to play a central role in not only selling products but also the design and support of rapidly taking products to market.
- Jim Holland is country head at Lenovo Data Centre Group (DCG) South Africa