5 Things to Consider When Buying Enterprise Storage in 2024

5 Things to Consider When Buying Enterprise Storage in 2024

- by Eric Herzog, Expert in Data Protection

Enterprise storage is fundamental to maintaining a strong data infrastructure. While storage has evolved over the years, the basic characteristics remain the same – performance, reliability, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, capacity, flexibility, and usability. The rule of thumb in enterprise storage is: faster, cheaper, easier and bigger capacity in a smaller footprint.

So, when you’re in the process of kicking the proverbial tires of enterprise storage solutions or on the verge of making a business-critical decision about what storage solutions to entrust your enterprise with, what should you be considering?

In 2024, five key considerations have risen to the top of enterprise buying decisions.

  1. Safeguard against cyberattacks, such as ransomware and various forms of malware, by increasing your enterprise’s cyber resilience with automated cyber protection.
  2. Look to improve the performance of your enterprise storage infrastructure by up to 2.5x (or more), while simultaneously consolidating storage to save costs.
  3. Evaluate the optimal balance between your enterprise’s use of on-premises and the use of the public cloud (i.e. Azure or AWS).
  4. Extend cyber detection on secondary storage / purpose-built data backup.
  5. Initiate a conversation about infrastructure consumption services that are platform-centric, automated, and optimized for hybrid, multi-cloud environments.

The leading edge of enterprise storage has already moved into the next generation of storage arrays for all-flash and hybrid configurations. With cybercrime expected to cost enterprise >$9.5 trillion in 2024, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, the industry has also seen a rise in cybersecurity capabilities being built into primary and secondary storage. Seamless hybrid multi-cloud support is now readily available. And enterprises are taking advantage of Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) offerings with confidence and peace of mind.

When you’re buying enterprise storage for a refresh or for consolidation, it’s best to seek out solutions that are built from ground up with cyber resilient and cyber recovery technology intrinsic to your storage estate, optimized by a platform-native architecture for data services. In today’s world with continuous cyber threats, enterprises are substantially extending cyber storage resilience and recovery, as well as real-world application performance, beyond traditional boundaries.

We have also seen our customers value scale-up architectures, such as 60%, 80% and 100% populated models of software-defined architected storage arrays. This can be particularly pertinent with all-flash arrays that are aimed at specific latency-sensitive applications and workloads. Having the option to utilize a lifecycle management controller upgrade program is also appealing when buying a next-generation storage solution. Thinking ahead, this option can extend the life of your data infrastructure.

In addition, adopting next-gen storage solutions that facilitate a green IT approach puts your enterprise in a position to both save money (better economics) and reduce your carbon emissions (better for the environment) by using less power, less rack space, and less cooling. I call this the “E2” approach to enterprise storage: better economics and a better environment. It helps to have faster storage devices with massive bandwidth and blistering I/O speeds.

Storage is Not Just about Storage Arrays Anymore

Traditionally, it was commonly known that if you need more data storage capacity, you’d buy more storage arrays and throw them into your data center. No more thought needed to give to storage, right? All done with storage, right? Well, not exactly.

Not only has this piecemeal approach caused storage “sprawl” and complexity that can be exasperating for any IT team, but it doesn’t address the significant need to secure storage infrastructures or simplify IT operations.

Cyber storage resilience and recovery need to be part of an enterprise’s overall cybersecurity strategy. You need to be sure that you can safeguard your data infrastructure with cyber capabilities, such as cyber detection, automated cyber protection, and near-instantaneous cyber recovery.

These capabilities are key to neutralizing the effects of cyberattacks. They could mean the difference between you paying a ransom for your data that has been taken “hostage” and not paying any ransom. When you can execute rapid cyber recovery of a known good copy of your data, then you can effectively combat the cybercriminals and beat them at their own sinister game.

One of the latest advancements in cyber resilience that you cannot afford to ignore is automated cyber protection, which can help you reduce the threat window for cyberattacks. With a strong automated cyber protection solution, you can integrate your enterprise storage into your Security Operations Centers (SOC), Security Information and Events Management (SIEM), Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) cyber security applications, as well as simple syslog functions for less complex environments. A security-related incident or event triggers immediate automated immutable snapshots of data, providing the ability to protect both block and file datasets. This is an extremely reliable way to ensure cyber recovery.

Another dimension of modern enterprise storage is seamless configurations of hybrid multi-cloud storage. The debate about whether an enterprise should put everything into the public cloud is over. There are very good use cases for the public cloud, but there also continues to be very good use cases for on-prem storage, creating a hybrid multi-cloud environment that brings the most business and technical value to the organization.

You can now harness the power of a powerful on-prem storage solution in a cloud-like experience across the entire storage infrastructure, as if the storage array you love on-premises is sitting in the public cloud. Whether you choose Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS or both, you can extend the data services usually associated with on-prem storage to the cloud, including ease of use, automation, and cyber storage resilience.

Purchasing new enterprise storage solutions is a journey. Isn’t it the best choice to get on the journey to the future of enterprise storage, cyber security, and hybrid multi-cloud? If you use these top 5 considerations as a guidepost, you end up in an infinitely better place for storage that transforms and transcends conventional thinking about the data infrastructure.