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Storage Consolidation

CIOs, Storage Administrators and IT professionals are constantly challenged with limited time, talent, budget , volume growth, data protection, remote offices, compliance, migrations, disaster recovery, server failure, that little time is afforded to cure the problem. As a result they end up treating unexpected data storage challenges , one point product at a time. Adding point solutions to solve a particular problem or make an improvement in a given class is not enough to account for the fast paced business that is highly reliant on digital information. Our data management methods need to change. Point solutions create unnecessary copies of data sets with different operational approaches to manage these data sets causing a two-fold problem of data growth and complexity. XIOSS provides a new data management strategy that changes traditional methods to more appropriately address the information requirements for the business of today and not the business of 30-50 years ago. The dilemma storage administrators have is that they can't afford to throw any information away, because they are stuck using traditional storage, they can't afford to keep it either.

"Men have become tools of their tools" Henry David Thoreau

"A dirty little secret in IT is that 60 to 80 percent of the data sitting on expensive, transaction-optimized primary storage today is static. This data is vital to the organization, but it is infrequently accessed and belongs on a different tier of storage," said Heidi Biggar, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Unlike traditional storage vendors that try to sell you the "next generation point solution" with bold promises of massive data reduction, massive cost reduction, better data protection, or the age old competitive "speeds, feeds and cost" comparisons so common in the storage industry, XIOSS differentiates itself by applying a mathematical or clinical approach based on your actual data set to determine how data is created, stored, accessed and protected to identify "real" areas of process improvement.

The vast majority of vendors and solution providers we compete with are addressing your challenges and designing solutions above where the problem exists without collecting the necessary data to provide proactive "prevention oriented" data management solutions that focus on the root causes.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

XIOSS competitors treat symptoms rather than causes. This commonly used approach results in applying a "band aid" using yet another temporary point solution. Throwing more hardware at the problem can no longer suffice when we are dealing with exponential data growth, limited budgets for adding infrastructure and expanding the IT team to account for the increase in data while experiencing added regulatory pressures.  This is proven by the fact that the average enterprise we consult with have complex architectures that have been reactively built over time, one point solution at a time.  Think about your own environment. What do you have? There are many manufactures that have ten or twenty solutions that you would need to implement in order to provision, store, copy, replicate, index, de-duplicate, and  archive data to provide a comprehensive storage management environment necessary for the requirements of today.  

The storage industry is filled with more acronyms, complexity, and suppliers that create buzz for little advancements in technology that promise to solve our pains such as data growth, data loss, downtime. Our data management methods need to change. Point solutions create unnecessary copies of data sets with different operational approaches to manage these data sets causing a two fold problem of data growth and complexity. XIOSS proposes a new information management strategy that changes the methods to more appropriately address the information requirements for the business of today and not the business of 30-50 years ago. The dilemma storage administrators have is that they can't afford to throw any information away, because they are stuck using traditional storage, they can't afford to keep it either.

Why use such labor intensive and costly processes when we are globally connected? If you want to talk to someone in a different state, you do not get in your car and drive over. You pick up the phone. Granted sometimes a "face to face "meeting is necessary but when a phone is available, it makes things a lot more efficient. It is easier, safer, faster, less expensive and allows you to talk to more people in a given time. The same holds true for managing data growth. We need to utilize the Internet as an enabling technology to bring forth new methods for managing data growth.

As stated before, XIOSS focuses on the root cause of data growth and designs a solution that addresses storage/file management from a users perspective and not from a computers perspective. Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst said it best "people talk to computers with files whereas computers talk to disks in blocks". Our storage complexity and pains are the result of us managing our storage from the computers vocabulary and not our own. Our storage solutions should empower us to manage and store information based on how we want it stored rather than being forced into managing information within the limitations of the computer rigid directory structure file system. Files systems become file cabinet drawers but without the ability to retrieve information based on content due to lack of intelligent file management. XIOSS provides a new model for managing information that does away with the limitations of the existing methods.

Current Realities

We are all connected, everyone is collecting information, across devices of all types and deleting anything is something of the past.

Unstructured Data = 80-90% = Everything not in a database - Approximately 80%-90% of data inside an organization is residing on file servers in formats as diverse as documents, spreadsheets, graphics, images, video, seismic maps, etc. and expectations are that file-based storage will increase by 50% to 120% a year. Merrill Lynch estimates that more than 85 percent of all business information exists as unstructured data – commonly appearing in e-mails, memos, notes from call centers and support operations, news, user groups, chats, reports, letters, surveys, white papers, marketing material, research, presentations and Web pages.

"Traditional systems were not designed for unknown requirements. They were designed for just the opposite. Digital content is at direct odds with this philosophy. Core systems built for transactional integrity, speed and reliability are fantastic, but when we ask systems based on these design principals to meet the needs of the new data generation, they inevitably fail." Steve Duplessi ESG Senior Analyst

Structured Data = 10-20% Data lives within databases.

Active versus Inactive Data

  • 90 percent of data created is static 90 days after its creation. (Source: SNIA)
  • 56 percent of data recovered is less than two days' old. (Source: ESG Research, "The Evolution of Enterprise Data Protection")

In surveys of U.S. companies, IDC found that information workers spend 14.5 hours per week reading and answering email, 13.3 hours creating documents, 9.6 hours searching for information, and 9.5 hours analyzing information.

It is no secret that organization such as financial, health care, legal, Governmental, are forced to retain data longer resulting in more files. Analysts estimate that 20% of all data is subject to compliance laws. In addition to retention, making the data accessible in a timely manner is of utmost importance.

When one puts these realities into perspective it is obvious that traditional storage solutions are not keeping up. A new strategy in how we manage information needs to develop. Once this is defined then the proper solution can be proposed. XIOSS engineers understand that the solutions they design must be able to support the business requirements of today and the future. We focus on information/data management rather than storage management. Storage management is what computers do. The XIOSS strategy is about preserving and delivering its users information that is relevant to the business at a given point in time. Archive or inactive information may become relevant to a user at any time, so it should be available within seconds. To be able to achieve this all data needs to be available online and not offline on a tape cartridge. You may think this will be cost prohibitive but if you look at how inexpensive a 3 terabyte disk is today ($100) then it becomes quite clear that it is more costly to administer backup software and an archive solution that causes data proliferation and lengthy restores as well as e-discovery exercises.

The Storage Centric Enterprise is an exercise in managing unintelligent data whereas the Information Centric Enterprise is organically "content aware and self organizing. In order to move from a storage centric environment to an information centric environment, certain things must change.

XIOSS Storage Consolidation moves you away from:

  • Islands of data in internal disks,  RAIDs, NAS, Tapes to a Central Information Repository that is content aware and delivered on demand.

  • Independent point solutions that create independent copies of the original data set and manages these copies using different tools , methods, then the primary data set itself to a singular comprehensive solution that automatically manages capacity provisioning, protection, archive, replication, and retention.

  • Vertical directory architectures trapped inside a CPU to a horizontal "database driven" architecture delivered transparently across the enterprise. Eliminate the filesystem.

  • 30 Year old Sequential Backup to Data De-Dup , VTL and Tape devices and replaces them with an Intelligent information operating system that sits on top of a virtual storage container. This allows us to manage the information based on how we think.

  • Labor intensive searching by file name through sequential tape backup and archive software to a "metadata" driven search where all information is online 24/7.

  • Location specific storage environments dependent on multiple point solutions that are complex, expensive, and of limited capacity to a transparent service oriented architecture that delivers value above and beyond data protection.

  • Backup Administrators searching through sequential backup sets on tape to user based role specific search / view portals.

  • Storing files based on name, size and type to storing files based on class, context, relevance and value.

  • Data that is subject to computer rules to information that is subject to business rules.

The benefits of moving away from the old process to a new process creates an environment that frees corporate information from the depths of duplicate data sets to a single organized information pool that automates information management, making all information accessible, contextual, search-able at disk speed.

This seems too good to be true doesn't it? It seems so obvious and simple to discuss in theoretical terms but is technically impossible from a storage perspective. From a "storage only" perspective it is and that's why we need to consider integrating and leveraging emerging technologies and processes from non storage related industries to begin to move in the direction of information management.

It all starts from the ground up where physical computers, processors, disk drives, network connections need to scale out and work in the back ground to present an aggregate of capacity, performance, and offer no single point of failure. On top of this "ever scaling" physical resource needs to be an "ever scaling" globally accessible virtual file system capable of replacing the traditional file system, while adding more functionality than just translating files to blocks to be stored the way computers force us to.

The XIOSS IQ system is transparent to the user whereby when they save their files, these files are automatically preserved in the Information Repository based on business rules as initially set by the administrator. No translation is necessary because the way files are created aligns with the way they are preserved. Files are no longer sent to electronic junk drawers that need to be sorted through based on the hope that one remembers the file name.

XIOSS IQ manages files from the time they are born to the time they are expired. The main functions of XIOSS IQ is to provide massive consolidation by offering:

  • Automatic information management across the entire enterprise
  • A centralized repository of all electronic Information for both active and inactive information
  • Make all information on line, organized and viewable based on user/department roles and business rules
  • Store information based on type, classification, context, and importance
  • Automatically migrates inactive data offsite freeing up onsite capacity and improving performance
  • Enforce and inherit existing security rules for users, departments, managers and CIO
  • Provide effective auditing and reporting information
  • Eliminate backup processes and focus on what to keep by a strategic retention policy that automates the destruction of data based on regulatory and business rules
  • Eliminate duplicate files while keeping all versions of a given file
  • Provide effective disaster recovery by automatic replication and copy on close processes
  • Ease of use so when one saves a file, it is automatically managed from birth to expiration

Let XIOSS be your data storage experts.

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XIOSS Data Services

  • Data Storage Assessment
  • Data Management Strategy
  • Data Migration
  • Data Consolidation
  • Storage Tuning & Management
  • Data Deduplication
  • Data Storage Consulting


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XIOSS maintains offices nationwide.

XIOSS is WBENC & WOSB Certified

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