It’s the age-old challenge for IT organizations and professionals – how to best protect digital content and information to ensure it’s available when needed, and all within budget.
And compounding the pressure to get it right is the accelerating proliferation of data. There are of course different types of data, so knowing which type needs to be architected is a logical starting place. Let’s begin with structured versus unstructured data.
If you are like the majority of IT users, you are concerned with unstructured data, which is comprised of file and object storage and is expected to grow at an ever-increasing rate.
In fact, IDC’s Worldwide Global DataSphere Forecast, 2019–2023 indicates that content created and replicated related to entertainment continues to be the largest category of data being generated.
This type of data and files are therefore much larger. They are also much harder to search, but also contain more information, and possibly more insight. Conversely, structured data by its very nature is defined and formatted with a specified structure. This makes it easier to store, manage, and search.
So what is driving this sharpening growth curve? It is because of what comprises unstructured data, what makes it up, and its importance in today’s world and our culture. One of the most common types of unstructured data is video and video-like content. And of course, we see all around us, the constant barrage of video content from gaming, social media, box office blowouts, informercials – the list is endless. As examples of industries that are video-content centric, I’m sure what comes quickly to mind includes broadcast, movie and television studios, sports media, animation… the fact is, video surrounds our daily lives from every angle!
Entertainment generates the majority of content. But consider some other sources of unstructured data that you are likely familiar with, but maybe aren’t top of mind. For example, corporate videos, like those used for trainings, marketing, and teaching. Also within health sciences, video is highly integrated to provide better health care, such as telemedicine, which is widely used today, image-based health records, medical instruction purposes – all of these high-res image files must be secured and available for ongoing access. And one other very important source where video is now ubiquitous is video surveillance, which is leveraged by all industries today running a variety of security workloads.
These are just a few examples of the digital content that exist, and more importantly, will be created at an accelerated rate. They also provide a good example of the type and size of these files, and why they can’t be stored or protected in the same manner as structured files. This makes it a bit more challenging when architecting and choosing the best information-management infrastructure to handle your specific requirements.
Efficiently managing all of this digital content and information requires you to think differently about the infrastructure for this big unstructured data. The good news is that this also provides organizations the opportunity to make their infrastructure future-proof with key considerations.
There are long-term advantages to digitally transform your video infrastructure. Understanding of the types of unstructured data that needs to be protected, where it is in its lifecycle, and your organization’s requirements for access to those files allows you to begin this transformation process. There are some additional considerations to factor in your planning:
• IT projects alignment
• Cost and efficiency
• Analytics and governance
• Mitigating risk
To be best equipped for future-proofing your unstructured data infrastructure and best practices for managing it, the first step is to understand the trends for video and video-like data, the types of files, their usage, and where in the workflow your content is located.
If you’re interested in learning more and understanding these trends and factors, so that you can stay ahead of the digital content tidal wave, we invite you to download for free, the IDC InfoBrief: Storage System Considerations in the Digital Era .
 IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Quantum, Storage System Considerations in the Digital Era, April, 2020.