There isn’t enough data and yet there’s too much. Companies are still trying to collect all the data they need for artificial intelligence, analytics, and big data projects to return value, but the data’s challenging to store and manage. The new problem companies are dealing with is mass data fragmentation.

The Problem of Mass Data Fragmentation

The problem with all this data is that most of it isn’t used by primary workloads. It resides on secondary systems and secondary storage scattered throughout the organization, both physically and departmentally. Data isn’t shared across business organizations. It’s also siloed by IT teams that have specialized functions, with no overall control and insight into its usage. There’s data that’s unknown and underused, and data that’s so heavily used it resides in multiple copies that waste storage and data management time.

There’s more than one reason for this problem. First, as companies integrate IT throughout their operations, there’s more business data gathered. The Internet of Things means formerly dumb devices now report status and interact electronically. Communications has added messaging to emails. Unstructured data now dominates.

In addition, a lot of data is created without the business knowing about it or where it is. Employees download applications from the web and sign up for free cloud-based services. They bring their own devices and conduct business from their personal email accounts.

If all this data were simply sitting there, the only costs would be storage and the opportunity cost of not using it, and those are bad enough. But there are also the costs of failing to satisfy compliance requirements and the costs of imperfect decisions made without complete data.

Conventional Storage Can’t Solve Mass Data Fragmentation

Most existing secondary storage is built for specific purposes, protecting backups or acting as a file share. It’s nearly impossible break that architecture free of its limitations.

New secondary storage technologies, like hyperconverged storage from Cohesity, are intended to get secondary data free of those restrictions. Rather than simply a repository for the data, these storage devices enable data to be actively used. By enabling data on a single device to serve multiple purposes, including analytics and development use as well as backup and file sharing, consolidated secondary data is able to generate real value while eliminating silos.

Eliminating Mass Data Fragmentation

Along with using newer storage technology, companies can reduce mass data fragmentation by making fewer copies. This doesn’t mean using data less, but using it more smartly, through limiting replication, deduplicating backups, and using copy data management to enable data to be shared. As with almost all technical projects, the solution starts with understanding the business first, to know where your data is generated and how it is used.

VAST helps companies take control of their secondary data with Cohesity. Contact us to learn how using this modern secondary storage solution can streamline access to your valuable data.

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