Marathon runners know when they’ve hit the wall.
It’s the exact moment at which the glycogen stores in their muscles and liver become depleted. They know when it happens because they suddenly feel like they have run face-first into a stack of bricks and their legs start feeling like concrete posts. They lose momentum and their focus on reaching the finish line wanes.
IT teams can experience a similar syndrome. It comes from what Gartner calls “collective” technical debt and the cause is an extensive and expensive set of business processes underpinned by a patchwork of technologies that are often not optimized, lean, connected, consistent, or fully developed.
For IT teams, the wall is made of data—and it’s growing exponentially each year.
In fact, a recent market survey report from Statista forecasts that the total amount of data being created globally will increase rapidly from 79 zettabytes in 2021 to over 180 zettabytes up to 2025. In case you’re confused, one zettabyte equals a thousand exabytes or a million petabytes.
This data explosion has stemmed in part from a major shift in how business and IT teams operate—a result of digital transformation that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift has increased data growth and data diversity that—according to Gartner’s IT Automation Predictions for 2021—will drive organizations toward new compute and storage technologies that increase the pace of automation and focus efforts toward improving the customer experience.
For example, Gartner predicts that through 2024, enhancements in analytics and automatic remediation capabilities will refocus 30% of IT operations efforts, from support to continuous engineering.
This is good news for IT teams because this means they effectively don’t have to hit the wall. Like long-distance runners, IT teams can pace themselves well by leveraging a storage infrastructure that’s increasingly automated, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to promote efficiency and agility. IT teams can avoid getting bogged down by the very storage infrastructure meant to empower them.
Here are four ways that intelligent storage solutions can help your IT team avoid hitting the wall.
Build a Strong Foundation
Running longer and stronger means upping your game and decreasing the time your team spends managing your company’s technical debt.
An intelligent storage management infrastructure helps achieve this by introducing AI-driven, autonomous operations, granular app, VM, database, or container-level visibility, and precise real-time analytics. These capabilities can decrease management costs by as much as 95% and enable teams to manage their entire storage footprint in only minutes per month—whether on-premises or the cloud.
For example, storage administrators no longer have to spend time configuring, allocating, or optimizing storage resources. It’s all done autonomously for each managed object. Set your policies for service levels, cloning, and snapshots and the intelligent infrastructure will do the rest—applying data protection and quality of service (QoS) policies at the application level. These policies remain intact, even as data is moved across different systems.
Pace by Effort
The most effective strategy runners use to avoid hitting the wall is to run smart—by effort instead of pace. To do so, they must tune into the state of their bodies in order to effectively control their acceleration while avoiding injury.
In the same way, a workload intelligent auto-adaptive infrastructure instantly tracks everything that’s happening inside and outside its environment and takes proactive action to optimize capacity, improve performance, and avoid bottlenecks for customers that are processing massive amounts of data. And unlike many of today’s systems that are not designed for the pace and complexities of modern data management, an intelligent infrastructure won’t introduce risks—particularly those that derive from unresolved latency, unchecked data growth, under-or overprovisioned resources, critical IT skills gaps, and cumbersome data and application silos.
Simulate the Race in Training
Serious marathon runners practice on terrain that is similar to the course they’ll encounter on race day. This helps them prepare for and quickly adapt to unexpected impacts and reduces the risk of performance problems on race day.
A workload intelligent auto-adaptive infrastructure enables you to run precise “what-if” analyses to understand your performance and capacity requirements under various future scenarios. It also brings a level of simulation training to an equally important challenge: data security and protection. Many industries have stringent data protection requirements that conventional storage doesn’t fulfill. Intelligent storage management addresses these requirements with end-to-end data encryption that protects against a broad range of malicious attacks. The ability to create multiple backup locations for disaster recovery and long-term data retention on-premises or in the cloud also ensures that data can be recovered quickly in the event of a security breach, data loss, or data corruption.
Fuel for Performance
Finally, fueling well before and during a race helps runners ensure their energy stores are topped off for race day.
Workload intelligence will ensure abundant fuel—in the form of AI-driven smarts, operational efficiency, and scalable performance to process rapidly growing structured and unstructured data sets at every step of the way along an organization’s growth path. By fundamentally changing the way IT teams operate—leveraging an intelligent infrastructure to simplify storage management, accelerating development cycles, and accurately predicting needs as businesses scale—these solutions provide high-efficiency fuel to maximize service levels and deliver the competitive differentiation to not only cross the finish line but to win.