How to add JBOC (Just a Bunch of Cloud) to your enterprise

Storage is a fast-evolving industry. Groundbreaking hardware technologies quickly become commoditized, which is a challenge for vendors, but a great benefit to customers. Today’s shiny new array soon becomes matched by a similarly capable JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disk) product that might not have as robust of vendor support, but costs the enterprise far less than a brand-name system. This commoditization extends into flash as well. While it is still growing in adoption in the enterprise, Gartner already sees JBOF (Just a Bunch of Flash) products on the horizon in this segment as well. Cloud storage is on the rise in tandem with flash, and smart data management software can help enterprises overcome the complexity of cloud adoption and easily integrate JBOC (Just a Bunch of Cloud) with their existing architectures. 

Gartner calls the cloud “one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age,” noting that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years. As part of the infrastructure shift ahead, Gartner’s 2017 Strategic Roadmap for storage predicts that “by 2021, more than 80% of enterprise unstructured data will be stored in scale-out file system and object storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, an increase from 30% today.”

Indeed, IT leaders are already hard at work rolling out cloud adoption strategies. Many of the enterprises we speak with are building private clouds internally to mitigate risk before migrating to public cloud services provided by leaders like AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure. It’s a strategy that makes sense for many IT teams, and enables even greater agility as enterprises expand by integrating both private and public clouds. This shift aligns with what 451 Research sees ahead. The firm reported that one-third of enterprise data was stored off-premises in 2016, but enterprises will reduce their ownership of data centers as we approach 2020.

Software makes it simple: scale one or multiple clouds 

One of the challenges with cloud adoption starts with simply knowing what data can be moved from primary storage to a slower lower cost of ownership cloud resource. Unless they plan to run the entire application in the cloud, IT certainly does not want to move active data that is in demand with applications and essential to current business operations. However, most storage systems don’t give insight into whether data is recently active or inactive, because they lack metadata intelligence. A metadata engine is the first step in achieving in-depth visibility of file activity, including its size, location, when it was last accessed, by whom, when it was last opened or written, and so on.

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