These days, virtually every business is run on data, which is why many have referred to the era we are experiencing as the “Big Data” revolution.

With the technology we use constantly evolving, so too does the way companies use this data to better reach and serve customers. Everything from the purchases we make to the places we click on a website has become a data point to be used and analyzed.

However, in this era, when there is more data to be used and stored, it is essential for businesses to invest in data storage. This data storage is not only expensive — with one report showing that between 30 and 50% of IT budgets are spent on file data storage and backups — but also difficult to navigate.

As enterprises’ data storage needs increase, so too does the complexity of the data storage solutions they must use.

The Need for Scalable Storage Solutions in the Big Data Era

More often than not, growing enterprises will find that a single server — or even a single server room — is not enough to meet their data storage needs. Thankfully, recent years have seen the introduction of scalable storage solutions that allow businesses not only to store their data, but also grow as necessary and reduce their overhead costs associated with data storage. These solutions take advantage of the latest advances in cloud technology to allow companies to manage vast amounts of data.

The main reason scalable storage solutions have become so dominant in the data industry is that they allow enterprises to grow without requiring significant infrastructure changes. As a company grows, it understandably produces, consumes and stores greater amounts of data.

Companies that store their data internally will be forced to buy more servers — as well as pay increased operating costs to maintain this server space — as they grow and use more data. On the other hand, those who use a scalable storage solution can expand without investing in their own infrastructure.

One scalable storage solution that has proven particularly impactful in the data storage industry is Ceph, which provides a highly-scalable, very low-cost, general-purpose object, file and block storage solution that supports every virtualization platform, including Kubernetes. By eliminating common vulnerabilities in data storage solutions, such as single points of failure, Ceph is an ideal solution for enterprises looking to expand their data storage needs while minimizing the risk of potential loss.

A Scalable Storage Solution With Security and Affordability

Perhaps the chief concern when it comes to data storage solutions is the privacy and security of said data. For a data storage solution to be effective, it must be reliable and consistent in its performance, while also having proper security measures in place to prevent catastrophic data loss in instances of failure.

One data security measure put in place in these innovative storage solutions is data replication. By writing multiple copies of data to multiple drives simultaneously in different failure domains, these solutions create a configurable level of redundancy, such that one or more copies could be lost or destroyed without losing the ability to read the data. With data replication across servers, racks, rows, or even entire data centers, these innovative storage solutions can ensure that data is not lost.

Data replication is often used in conjunction with erasure coding, to reduce the cost of replication redundancy. After all, keeping multiple copies of data does require an increased amount of storage space, which can quickly become expensive. However, with proper erasure coding, there can be cost savings brought about by requiring fewer drives to reconstruct lost data. Although some cases may result in a sacrifice of performance, data can still be preserved.

It is also worth noting that Ceph offers some unique security benefits due to its nature as an open source software program. While some have argued that allowing the source code to be inspected by anyone exposes any vulnerabilities the software may have, the truth is that this can be just as much of an advantage. In open source systems, the community can work together to identify and address vulnerabilities, allowing more qualified minds to collaborate on solutions to problems that affect the entire user base.

Using a good storage solution can provide significant cost advantages to enterprises looking for innovative data storage. One advantage of Ceph, in particular, is that it does not require any special hardware — working on servers that are as generalized as possible to allow each server to become a low-cost, replaceable unit. This allows repairs and replacements to occur relatively seamlessly, with little to no disruption or risk of data loss.

For companies looking to store their data in a way that allows them to scale effectively, but not sacrifice the security of their data, a scalable storage solution is the way to go. In the face of the Big Data revolution, innovations like this will pave the way for businesses to grow.