Data migrations without the migraines

Whether or not you work in the IT department, you have likely experienced the pain of migrating from one system to another. When you buy a new laptop, or a new phone, you’re faced with having to backup and replicate your old data to your new system, or start from scratch with none of the files you might need on your new device.

Imagine this problem at enterprise scale. Moving terabytes of data is a daunting task that also requires planning and downtime when IT has to add a new storage system,  upgrade or replacement. Just like with our smartphones, the old system likely still has some value, but since data can’t move easily from one system to the other, the equipment we’re leaving behind often remains as a backup to the backup copy.

Solving this problem in the enterprise starts with making applications aware of different storage capabilities, such as the high, medium and low performance and price provided by the average storage ecosystem in use at many companies today. Then those varying storage resources must be made simultaneously available to applications. This can be done by virtualizing data across a global namespace to enable access to different storage systems, whether or not they are shared, flash, or even cloud storage resources. In other words, an application sees a logical version of the data’s filename so that the data itself can be moved from one storage type or another without having to reconfiguring and interrupting the application.

Metadata, the information about data, and management software can add even more power through automation, monitoring how applications experience storage and aligning data to the right resource to meet changing demands across performance, price and protection. This makes it possible to move past manual storage migrations to automated data migration with the ability to tier data as business needs evolve. Then, rather than being a one-off event, migrations take place automatically, whenever data policies determine that a different storage resource would be the best asset for the job at hand. New storage can be added in minutes, and admins can trigger data to move off old storage with a simple software policy change.

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