It is estimated that data volumes in enterprises increase by 60% annually. Regulatory compliance further complicates issues. So, dealing with data volumes effectively calls for a lot of talent, planning and intelligent use of technology resources.

Effective storage administrators set storage policies, implement storage resource management tools and invest in capacity planning. But, before they do anything, they make the effort to understand their data, its storage requirements, and required applications, and then review their storage policies. Data administrators also make a determined effort to identify factors that drive data growth and connect the dots to appreciate the how, why, what, where and when of their data and data storage needs.

The driving force behind data storage is visibility and accessibility of data. Accurate visibility allows storage administrators pinpoint specific data problems. They can make informed decisions about what kind of technology will be best fit for the data, and where data growth occurs frequently. They can streamline technology to view data paths from end to end, and prevent bottlenecks at points where data growth is maximized.

Capacity planning is essential for determining storage needs over a period of time. Data administrators can determine the type of storage they need, for how long and of what capacity if they know how much their data will grow and how much of the data needs to be stored in online or offline data repositories. They may choose to use thin provisioning technology to allocate the exact required amount of data storage to applications at the right time.

Reclaiming assets goes hand in hand with capacity planning. Administrators must reclaim storage space that remains unused or underused. It is estimated that such dark storage or unclaimed storage may help reclaim as much as 15% of physical storage and more in virtual stores.

Finally, effective storage management eases disaster management. Smart administrators take snapshots of business critical information and create benchmarks for recovery before disaster strikes. They constantly monitor backups and simulate recovery scenarios with backed up data to ensure that they know just what to do in disaster situations.

Cloud based systems have created new, scalable data storage and delivery solutions.  Organizations using cloud-computing services will save on both capital and operational costs while gaining increased flexibility in accessibility and storage of data. Cloud storage also reduces complexity of storage management and enables efficient business resiliency, security, visibility, control and automation of data backup and recovery.