Tip

Top data storage best practices include security, sustainability

Budgets are tight and risks are pervasive, so it's critical for admins to get the most out of storage. These tips touch on areas such as sensitive data storage and sustainability.

It's been a year of transition and turmoil.

The COVID-19 pandemic eased its grip on the world but unfortunately, it is still a major issue. Supply chain troubles continue and cybersecurity concerns remain top of mind. The top data storage best practices of the year reflect current events and trends.

This recap in tips includes advice on how to keep data secure, stay sustainable with storage and keep out in front of supply chain woes.

Secure your storage

There are many regulations to follow these days, which makes it all the more important for organizations to stay in compliance. That importance extends to the storage world, as organizations must make sure to securely store sensitive data. It's a tough ask, though, with cyber attacks around every corner.

Top methods include multifactor authentication, encryption and data masking. In addition to these technology-focused data storage best practices, don't forget one of the more basic but often overlooked approaches -- talking to and educating users. An organization's safety is only as good as its weakest link.

Sustain your storage

Vendors have started to make storage sustainability a bigger focus. There is a lot of waste in the world, including in data storage environments. However, while data volumes continue to escalate, green storage initiatives have taken off.

Sustainable data storage best practices include efficient energy use and a shift to cleaner sources, a decrease in carbon footprint and making the most of storage use. Like with security, it takes a layered approach to achieve sustainability in storage.

Don't forget about tape

Tape is dead. Long live tape.

It seems like every time IT is ready to bury tape as a storage option, it has a renaissance. In the latest example, experts point to tape as a safe way to store data offline, and thus, protected against online cyber attacks. In addition, tape continues to offer improvements, including increased capacity, which comes in handy as data volumes continue to grow and grow. While tape is still best for archival purposes, it serves as an important tool in an IT administrator's toolbox.

Chart of LTO Program roadmap

How do you solve a problem like supply chain?

It's no secret that the supply chain is causing global issues. The impact has hit the storage world, for example, in the form of a semiconductor chip shortage.

However, storage administrators can do more than just throw their hands up in the air. They can and should order equipment in advance, consider different approaches to purchasing and make use of the cloud, among other data storage best practices. It might not get better soon, so admins should get out in front of problems if they haven't already.

CXL steps into the light

And as we look ahead, we find the Compute Express Link (CXL). This open source memory interconnect enables large memories to be supported coherently between processors. CXL helps a system to determine which programs should get a performance boost. In the end, CXL helps to reduce cost, complexity and overhead, according to the Storage Networking Industry Association.

In addition, CXL might have been designed with Intel Optane in mind. So, it's good that it's here because Intel has decided to wind down its Optane persistent memory products.

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