Data Storage that Enables the Mobile Enterprise

Contributing Writer

Enterprise mobility means many things. It’s the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon that has employees downloading business apps to their personal smartphones. It’s the traveling executive connecting her notebook computer to corporate servers via a virtual private network (VPN). It’s the Internet of Things when mobile sensors send information to a central database. And it’s field service staff tapping into company information from their tablets. [read more]

For IT pros, it is a significant management challenge. Their goal is to provide the same user experience across the enterprise – regardless of the device – while complying with regulatory obligations and safeguarding corporate data. Storage is critical. Every transaction, every email, every file, must be saved for a pre-determined period of time.

IT must develop an enterprise mobility strategy that brings together people, processes, and technology in a flexible, scalable and manageable infrastructure.

People: Consider each individual’s access to information. What is his or her role in the organization? And what does that person need to know? Whether using a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, each user needs access to the same data, with a rapid response time.

Process: Mobile applications are contributing to the explosion of enterprise data. And that data is composed of widely different types, each of which has a distinct information lifecycle – the time at which it is no longer valuable to the organization and should be removed from the storage network. A tiered storage infrastructure matches the data with the right storage media based on user needs. Primary information requiring fast access should be on flash; mission-critical data housed on a Storage-Area Network (SAN); archived static data moved to tape libraries, for example.

Technology: A higher volume of data and information management requirements is bringing new forms of storage to the forefront of IT, from flash media to storage virtualization to the cloud. The challenge is to make it all work seamlessly and securely for the mobile user.

Taking all this into consideration, many organizations might want to consider building a private cloud infrastructure and deploying greater amounts of solid state storage. The private cloud will provide mobile users with easy and secure access to data wherever they may be, and the solid-state storage will provide faster access to that data. Ultimately, the goal is not to micro-manage the mobile devices and the people carrying them, but to provide secure, yet fast access to data so those users don’t even think about where their data is stored.

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