Interview: StorageCraft’s Hugo Parra on Today’s Data Storage and Growth

Interview StorageCrafts Hugo Parra on Today's Data Storage and GrowthHugo Parra is the senior director of product management at StorageCraft. The company provides users with scale-out storage, data protection, and cloud-based protection. As the role of data becomes more dynamic, it becomes harder for businesses to manage. StorageCraft has announced a new solution, OneXafe, to improve the user data storage and protection experience. Parra expanded on the product release, as well as the role of data storage and growth today during our talk.

With the role of data expanding, data is becoming more complex to manage. What are some tools or practices organizations can implement to simplify this process?

Organizations need solutions that provide a unified view of their data and, to the greatest extent possible, allow them to eliminate data silos. This consolidated view of very large amounts of data can only be meaningful if accompanied by powerful indexing, cataloging and search capabilities. Data analytics are essential, both for pedestrian tasks such as capacity planning as well as more strategic initiatives such as business intelligence mining. Even with all this consolidation and metadata at its disposal, an organization lacking a scalable management framework will struggle to keep data properly protected and managed. SLA-oriented management is an emerging answer to this challenge. SLAs that articulate the desired outcome and then drive the behavior needed to accomplish that very outcome enable a true set-and-forget style of management, essential to avoiding data management deterioration with the passing of time or exponential data growth.

With OneXafe, StorageCraft is introducing a data management platform suited for all these capabilities. It offers converged storage for secondary and primary workflows and brings into a single view data replicated offsite, be it on-premises or in the cloud, both public as well as StorageCraft’s proprietary purpose-built DRaaS. SLA-based protection and management are at OneXafe’s core, starting with the initial configuration, through on-going management and monitoring, through compliance assessment.

Data is growing at an alarming rate, making storage, backup, and recovery hard to achieve. How can users combat the effects of this rate of growth that shows no signs of slowing down?

A good first step is to ensure there are no inefficiencies in the way data is stored. Capabilities such as data deduplication, consolidation, and erasure coding, working in conjunction with distributed object-based file systems and accompanying replication technology are all essential. Next is employing a solution that recognizes that not all data is equal and uses policies to determine the appropriate location for storing and replicating data. The right solution will not only enable optimized movement of data across storage destinations, it will also support a consistent experience and set of data management and protection capabilities, regardless of where the data may reside. This enables organizations to tap into the benefits of hybrid cloud, without adding complexity to their systems and administration.

OneXafe helps its users combat the effect of exponential data growth through a consolidated management experience and its converged scale-out platform. Scale-out is key to ensure an organization starts with exactly what they need and can scale non-disruptively and economically over time – all without the need of a fork-lift upgrade.

The threat of cyber attacks is always present. How will this solution protect enterprise data?

OneXafe helps organizations protect themselves against cyber attacks through a wide range of capabilities. From the get-go, it offers encryption throughout the data lifecycle, without adding undue management complexity. It constantly surveys the user environment to detect systems without data protection policy assignments. Default protection SLAs can be defined to automatically protect systems that appear in the environment without notice. It supports different protection options, agent-based and agentless, to match RPOs with the business criticality of individual systems, ensuring the integrity of the data.

OneXafe’s storage of protected data encourages organizations to use generous backup and retention schedules. The ability to restore a full system in under one second gives system administrators the confidence that they can count on achieving high business continuity in case of an attack to a critical system. OneXafe’s central visibility into all data, enables analysis of data change patterns that can be used in early detection of suspicious behavior. Particularly in the case of ransomware and protecting against it, object storage is invaluable — with immutable object storage. This capability should be high on the list of what organizations look for in a solution. OneXafe’s object store continuously protects information, by taking snapshots every 90 seconds. Because the object store is immutable, even if ransomware infects primary storage, everything is protected and can be restored to its pre-attack state in a short time.

Tess Hanna
Follow Tess