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How to take your data lake strategy up a notch

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Though, in 2016, when business leaders look to either implement or up level their Data Lake strategy, it is imperative that they extend the Data Lake beyond the main data center. With borders blurring and the workforce evolving due to increased mobility, the Data Lake of today must be all inclusive and universally applicable.

By Amit Mehta

We’ve all heard it time and time again: data analytics is the key competitive differentiator in today’s business landscape. Whether you are a B2B company or a B2C company, data analytics can be leveraged to gather vast insights into a business’s customer-base, allowing for the business to provide an unprecedented level of customer service – ultimately resulting in increased revenues.

Though this may sound pretty cut and dry- use data analytics, win big – it is far more complex than it sounds. Organisations are experiencing unprecedented unstructured data growth. By 2020, the digital universe will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes. This is a monumental increase that will bring about either unmanageable levels of complexity, or boundless amounts of opportunity.

To prepare for this incredible growth, IT must find new and more cost effective ways to increase their data storage capabilities while simultaneously up-leveling their ability to draw meaningful insights from the data at lightning speed. For analytics to drive relevant results, it must operate at the same speed as data generation. And, if that wasn’t already a tall order, as businesses expand globally, businesses will need to give their global workforce access to same meaningful data that is available to the employees operating in the headquarters.

Take Uber for example, the disruptive innovator has been met with incredible success across the globe because it delivers a universal need in a personalised, quick and agile manner. Uber has hundreds of offices globally and is continuing to expand. In order for Uber to continue on the trajectory they currently enjoy, they must ensure that amid their expansion they continue to operate smartly and efficiently – whether their customer is based in Kuala Lumpur or in New York City.

The answer is a Data Lake that serves edge-to-core-to-cloud

These challenges explain why business leaders today must look to the Data Lake. Over the course of 2015, we saw Data Lakes come of age and move into mainstream IT. The Data Lake breaks down unproductive storage silos and provides businesses with a single system to capture, store, analyze, protect and manage their data.

Though, in 2016, when business leaders look to either implement or up level their Data Lake strategy, it is imperative that they extend the Data Lake beyond the main data center. With borders blurring and the workforce evolving due to increased mobility, the Data Lake of today must be all inclusive and universally applicable. This is why a business’s Data Lake strategy must enable organisations to set policy globally, yet act locally.

Organisations will also need to look for simple and effective ways to extend their enterprise Data Lake to embrace the cloud. With the volume of data ingest increasing, customers want to cost optimise and automatically manage data growth. Some data must be kept indefinitely; data that accumulates in a data lake while not directly adding value is frozen.

While looking to leverage the public cloud to lower costs, many enterprises have questions about how best to integrate their data centre with the cloud and free up frozen data that is not directly contributing to business value. If the business value changes, this data must still be visible and instantly accessible.
This is why businesses must ensure their Data Lakes strategy includes an automated storage tiering approach that enables them to easily extend their enterprise Data Lake to the cloud by integrating storage with cloud services. With the cloud integrated, businesses can optimiee storage resources in their data centre and easily leverage the cloud as a new ‘frozen data’ storage tier and thereby further reduce costs while gaining cloud-scale storage capacity with data that is still visible and accessible should business value change or analytics enable monetization.

In summary, to win big in the New Year, dive into a Data Lake that extends from edge-to-core-to-cloud. With that you will possess the ability to extend the edge of the data lake globally, optimize the operations of the core data centre, and embrace connectivity to the cloud. All of this will allow your business to power a global workforce that can act fast, smart and globally – resulting in a better run business that is well positioned to compete in the new digital universe.

The author is Country Manager , Isilon Storage Division at EMC India & SAARC

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