Moderator: Hello and welcome to today’s podcast on best practises for managing the upcoming ‘Zettabyte Apocalypse.’
Joining us for today’s discussion are two leading data management experts, Jon Toigo and John Woolley.
First, I’d like to introduce Jon Toigo. He is CEO and Managing Principal for Toigo Partners International. Jon is also chairman of the Data Management Institute. He is the author of 15 books, including five on the subject of business continuity planning. Welcome Jon.
Jon Toigo: Thank you.
Moderator: Next, I’d like to introduce and welcome John Woolley, Head of Technical Sales at Iron Mountain. For the past 10 years, John has been an evangelist for data centre virtualisation and data management. In his current role, he defines and drives Iron Mountain’s Cloud Data Management solutions. Welcome John.
John Woolley: Yes, great. Thank you for having me.
Moderator: Our discussion today will focus around managing the upcoming ‘Zettabyte Apocalypse.’ So what is this upcoming ‘Zettabyte Apocalypse’ and how can IT organisations get prepared from a capacity and cost perspective? Jon T. – do you want to start here?
Jon T.: Sure, actually ‘Zettabyte Apocalypse’ is probably something I coined in an article along the way. If you read the analysts, the leading ones: IDC, Gartner, etc., they’re all expecting a big gigantic boom in data growth. In terms of zettabytes, we’re looking at 30-40 zettabytes of new data, depending on which analyst you believe, by the 2020 time frame. And, quite frankly, there isn’t enough capacity in all the cache that’s being produced and all the disk that’s being produced and all the optical that’s being produced in order to shoulder the burden of handling or storing all of this data. Big issue for the Cloud guys who are trying to create big infrastructure offerings for storage, but also big issue for larger—and even medium—sized organisations going forward because, of course, all that storage capacity has a price tag associated with it. Virtually, the only way we’re going to be able to handle the ‘Zettabyte Apocalypse’ is to bring all storage modalities to bear and to practise archiving, and to archive to tape. Tape is basically the godsend in this scenario because of the huge capacity increases that are anticipated over the next couple of years. John?
John W.: Yeah, I agree with you. There are a lot of considerations, and tape, in my view for a long time, whilst it’s fallen out of fashion somewhat for its traditional use…people are being forced to reconsider its position. We’re looking at the moment at what we’re calling the decriminalisation of tape. It’s been given a bad press by disk-based data protection specialists because their agenda is to sell more disks.
Jon T.: The good news there is that, for a lot of younger IQ practitioners, it seems like they don’t know tape at all. They have no pre-existing attitude toward it, positive or negative because they’ve never used the technology, and they’ve never even heard of it in some cases. And I think, that’s hopefully in the corner for tape going forward.
John W: Absolutely, they’re my best case for common sense. You’re right. We talk to the disk vendors, and they’re in a quandary about how they pack more and more data onto spindles. You know, you’ve got the new LTO formats, you’ve got the enterprise tape formats that are cramming more and more data onto the cassette, and we’re able to keep it for longer periods of time, so in an archive play, this is fantastic. It’s going to be a big question, and I think this is where a lot of the debate will be coming. When I talk to IT professionals and they say ‘I no longer want tape in my environment,’ what they forget is the verb to manage, and I think that’s the core piece. If we can get to find a way to manage the data on their tapes in a much more grown-up way, correct way, so that’s it’s much more accessible, I think that takes away the stigmatism around tape and allow us to overcome these challenges. The other big question that comes with this wave of data is, should we be keeping it all. That’s my question: why do we keep every piece of data that an organisation creates? Not all of it is relevant.
John T.: Well that is a very good question. I think that’s the one that everyone’s going to be struggling with over the next 5-6 years. If there is no indication on the data itself of its importance…there are certain regulatory mandates and certain cases and certain industries that carry with them a requirement to hold on to a certain kind of data, but very few companies in my experience are actually going through the heavy lift to sort out and classify the data they are creating to determine what is critical and what is less important and what is discardable. That’s sort of the Herculean effort of the era is to determine what belongs where.
Moderator: That wraps up today’s podcast. Thanks to both Jon Toigo and John Woolley for joining us today and for sharing their expert insights. Visit the Iron Mountain UK or NA websites for more insights and thought leadership around data management and data protection. Have a great day.