Big Data in the Data Center

By Chris Kenney | August 21, 2014

Big Data: it’s a concept and trend that we’ve all heard about ad nauseam. But for those of us in the data center industry “big data,” conjures an entirely different reaction, primarily because we’re the ones who are tasked with storing, securing, and processing that data on the backend – whether you’re internal IT or you operate an external, colocation data center, like Markley Group. And while it’s exciting to think about all of the frontend enhancements that organized and accessible big data can deliver – improved knowledge about your customers, increased profits, more intelligent business forecasts, etc. – if your storage isn’t well thought out and executed, kiss those big data benefits goodbye.

To ensure your organization gets the most out of its big data, here are our top tips and best practices for implementing a sound storage strategy:

1. Take Inventory of the Data you Already Have:

A key aspect of implementing a strong storage strategy is to understand the type (or types) of data you’re going to be storing, and since data comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s likely you won’t be able to implement a one-size-fits-all solution. While each organization will have its own set of performance and reliability requirements it will want to meet, some of the core data qualifications you’ll want to consider include: How fast will you want to recover your data after it’s stored? Is the data you’re storing business critical, and if not, how often will you want access to it? Does your storage infrastructure need to meet specific compliance regulations? By answering these types of questions, you’ll be able to better structure your data storage strategy.

2. Explore Your Different Storage Options:

Since you know that all data is not created equally, why would your storage solution be any different? While you may prefer to keep all of your data in one place, it’s likely that your organization’s specific storage requirements (and budget) will dictate otherwise. This could end up being a combination of on-site data storage, off-site colocation facilities, or hybrid cloud offerings. For example, to limit costs and IT manpower, you may decide to keep your archived data on-site, which requires low maintenance and is rarely accessed, but outsource your more readily-accessed data to a company like Markley Group, that can provide a cost-effective, highly-secure environment while delivering extremely high input/output operations per second (IOPS) and extremely low latency for business critical data.

3. Plan for Growth:

You’ve taken inventory of your current data and decided on a combination of storage options that best fits your company’s needs – that’s great, but what about a plan for the inevitable data growth you’ll experience over the next year, five years, or even ten years? Just imagine the increase in mobile devices, business applications and other technologies your employees and customers will continue bring to the table. To accommodate and plan for this, demand that your in-house storage solution or the external data center facility you decide to work with has the infrastructure in place to expand and scale as your data grows. By making sure your big data storage strategy can grow with you and your data needs, you’ll avoid the headache and cost of reconfiguring in the future.

If we’ve learned anything, it’s that big data – and the demands it puts on your data center – are not going away anytime soon, but by planning ahead, reviewing your data, and making sound, flexible infrastructure decisions that can grow with your organization, you’ll be able to manage your big data and reap all of the amazing business benefits it can deliver.

To learn more about Markley Group and how our world class data center and cloud services can help your organization get a handle on big data, visit our website or send us an email at