How valuable is your data anywhere?

I was a speaker at the Data Management and Document Control conference 2 weeks’s ago. It was a conference aimed at the Oil & Gas industry, and my presentation was primarily focused on Data in Exploration & Production (E&P) segment of the industry. That’s also the segment that brings in the mega big bucks!

The conversations with the participants have validated and strengthened the fact that no matter how we talk about how valuable data is to the organization, how data is the asset of the organization, the truth is most organization SUCKS big time when it comes to data management. The common issues faced in the E&P data management in Oil & Gas are probably quite similar to many other industries. For the more regulated industries such as banking, financial institutions, governments and telecommunications, data management, I would assume, is a tad better.

The fact of the matter is there little technology change in the past decade in data storage, data protection and data movement. There are innovations from a technology point of view but most technology innovations do not address the way data could be better managed, especially from a data consolidation point of view.

I am a believer of data centralization, consolidation and control. I always internalize any data in any organization like WATER. If we think about the collection of water from various sources and how the water from the dams and reservoirs gets distributed to the taps in our homes, then you will understand that consolidation, pooling happens all the time to ensure effective and efficient distribution and delivery of water for the masses. And I see the same with data.

However, the biggest and possible most challenging aspect about the distribution of data is how do you control data? Data gets created everywhere and anywhere, and in an organization, data at the branches violates many of the principles of data consolidation and centralization. Forget hyper-convergence if your strategy neglects data at the branch offices. And this breeds issues like data security, breaches, and failure to be audited to meet the organization’s or the industry’s regulatory compliance.

The issues are also compounded by the lack of technology innovations that include data everywhere, especially the branch offices.

That is why technology has to play a bigger role in forcing the change in the way the data is managed, including the data at the branch offices. I see that my recent review of RiverBed SteelFusion forcing the way organizations think about their converged data strategy. The technology innovation of RiverBed SteelFusion is making it happen. As I read and research through RiverBed’s website, there are many use cases as shown below:

RiverBed SteelFusion Use Cases

You can read about them individually here:

It would be easy for this blog entry to regurgitate what have been published out there, but I am looking at a deeper plot. A real technology innovation that deepens and strengthens the credo how data management ideally should be. Use technology to break normalcy. That is what I believe RiverBed SteelFusion’s technology is bringing to the table.

Organizations continue to talk about data consolidation, centralization and control and yet they still do data movement back and forth between the branches because the storage and network technologies they use limit them. SteelFusion enables the physical separation and independent of the storage and compute platform, unencumbered by distance and latency (to a certain point) and empowering data strategists and data architecture to now view the entire organization’s data as ONE, anywhere. To me, that’s a powerful thing.

About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 20+ years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because that is my area of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to *know the facts*, and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and as of October 2013, I have been appointed as SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I was previously the Chairman of SNIA Malaysia until Dec 2012. As of August 2015, I am returning to NetApp to be the Country Manager of Malaysia & Brunei. Given my present position, I am not obligated to write about my employer and its technology, but I am indeed subjected to Social Media Guidelines of the company. Therefore, I would like to make a disclaimer that what I write is my personal opinion, and mine alone. Therefore, I am responsible for what I say and write and this statement indemnify my employer from any damages.
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