Different data storage mediums have varying strengths and weaknesses, and many companies must use several solutions, which storage software helps them manage and gain more insight into their stored data.
The average company spends $12.97 per employee on data storage in 2022, and this spending keeps rising. As businesses’ storage needs keep rising, these prices grow more concerning, raising the need for tools to manage it all.
Here’s a look at seven case studies on how organizations in different industries are using storage software solutions to minimize costs, increase scalability, and make other data management improvements:
1. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division
The Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) charges polluters and other environmental offenders in court. As part of this process, the department must build cases, collecting considerable data. Over time, storing and managing that data on physical hardware becomes too expensive and inefficient to be justifiable.
The ENRD eventually decided to transition to the cloud, which required moving 300 TB of backups from a data center to a new cloud storage solution. The department turned to a software-defined storage (SDS) solution from NetApp to make that shift.
The SDS system is able to back up these large, mostly unstructured datasets in minimal time with no corruption. Switching to a software-based solution also helps speed up access times. The ENRD can now access whatever data it needs for the case at hand with little to no delay.
Security is another leading concern for data storage within the Department of Justice. Software-defined storage helps in that area by reducing the number of third-party tools teams need to manage their data. With fewer apps that can access potentially sensitive information, it’s easier to secure it.
Storage software product: NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
- Migrated 300 TB of data in two months
- Simplified data management and security
- Increased network efficiency
As one of the largest oil companies in the world, BP’s data storage demands are massive. The rising global emphasis on sustainability has also placed new scrutiny on this footprint, as traditional data centers have a considerable impact on the environment.
BP aims to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050, a goal that would be unattainable with on-premises storage’s footprint. As part of that goal, the company needed to move its data around and build artificial intelligence (AI) models to track and manage its emissions. Enabling that required a new data management solution.
The answer was a cloud-based data platform. This storage software lets the corporation remove silos to increase visibility and efficiency. Those improvements help BP understand where its data is and how it’s used, leading to more meaningful operational and sustainability adjustments.
Using the platform, BP migrated several of its older data centers to more eco-friendly hybrid cloud environments. Data lake and warehousing capabilities also help it develop the AI algorithms it needs to analyze and adjust its sustainability initiatives.
Storage software product: Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
- Migrated to a hybrid cloud with minimal downtime
- Removed data silos to increase visibility and efficiency
- Supported BP’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050
3. University of Connecticut Health
The University of Connecticut (UConn) Health is a research hospital, and it manages massive data volumes. As telehealth solutions have rapidly spread across the industry, this data footprint — like in many hospitals — keeps growing.
As this data expanded, UConn Health adopted a software-defined backup and recovery service to migrate to the cloud. With 1.75 PB of research data alone, reducing its data center footprint was far from straightforward. However, new storage software made it far faster and more cost-efficient than possible with a hardware-defined system.
Transitioning away from an on-premises solution substantially decreased costs. Using a software-based system to manage its data has also let the hospital migrate easily between cloud vendors to find the most cost-effective provider. The increased efficiency and availability of the solution help maintain the sector’s high security and responsiveness needs.
Software-defined storage and similar technologies also enable UConn Health to virtualize and back up applications, not just manage data. As a result, they can make it easier to access and secure its most critical programs across all hospital areas.
Industry: Health care
Storage software product: Commvault Complete
- Reduced storage costs by 85%
- Reduced average cloud server costs by 20%
- Introduced and protected 2,500 virtual machines
4. Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods is a grocery chain embracing digital transformation. With more than 500 stores across three countries, managing supply chain data can be challenging for the organization with various hardware-based solutions.
Whole Foods’ supply chain workflows require hundreds of non-technical employees to upload product vendor data regularly. The conventional approach was highly inefficient, relying on several manual steps to move files between systems. To streamline the process, Whole Foods turned to storage software that connected its on-premises systems to the hybrid cloud.
The new solution enabled higher automation and reduced error-prone manual tasks. This step also helped improve security, as administrators had fewer accounts to juggle in identity and access management (IAM).
The storage gateway also lets Whole Foods consolidate its supply chain workflows. Files have fewer systems and steps to travel between, increasing productivity and availability.
Storage software product: AWS Storage Gateway
- Eliminated the need to manage hundreds of IAM keys
- Streamlined supply chain workflows
- Reduced operational costs
5. Fortune Media Group
Global media company Fortune Media Group manages considerable data volumes. The organization has hundreds of thousands of hours of video alone for possible use.
Storing this vast video archive, for example, is an imposing task. However, Fortune regularly monetizes its historical content by creating, sharing, and discussing old clips when they become relevant again. As a result, workers must be able to search through, find, and manage files from years of archived video data.
Fortune’s hardware-based storage solution quickly grew outdated. Moving to a software-defined storage and management platform gave the organization the necessary efficiency and reliability. It was able to move more than 300 TB of video files in less than a week with no downtime.
The simplification and automation of the new storage software also ensure future backups are safe and easy to access. As a result, Fortune employees can move files between cloud and on-premises solutions as they need and archive videos without fear of losing them. More transparency also makes it easier to organize archives for faster searching and retrieval in the future.
Industry: Media and entertainment
Storage software product: Backblaze B2
- Reduced storage costs by 66%
- Moved 300 TB of data in less than a week
- Improved archive reliability and security
6. Thai Airways
Thai Airways is using storage software to protect critical backups. Aviation is a highly regulated industry, and airlines must keep extensive maintenance records. This data must also be readily available, so crews can access and read through it quickly for effective and streamlined maintenance.
With a fleet of 95 aircraft, storing and managing this critical information is a significant undertaking for Thai Airways. The airline uses storage software connecting more than 300 physical and virtual machines to meet regulatory requirements and optimize operations.
A storage-attached network connects all of the hardware and virtual storage solutions across the airline’s two home airports. This connectivity provides easy access regardless of where employees are or where the data originated. The solution also backs up critical data automatically.
Thai Airways’ storage software creates simultaneous backups on virtual machines and tape cold storage. As a result, records are up to date in offline and online environments, securing them from ransomware and similar threats. The airline can then ensure it stays on top of maintenance schedules, keeping passengers safe regardless of the cyber threats it faces.
Storage software product: Arcserve Backup
- Enabled recovery for data up to 60 days old
- Secured maintenance information from ransomware
- Improved scalability and connectivity across facilities
7. Micro Strategies
Micro Strategies, a data analytics, security, and managed service provider (MSP), has high data storage demands as an IT services company..
Micro Strategies helps many customers capitalize on their data, often employing data-heavy DevOps practices. As a result, it must deploy and manage various databases and analysis pipelines regularly. That could quickly become complex and inefficient with a conventional system, so the company uses storage software to improve visibility and control.
Micro Strategies’ software solution includes automated monitoring and alerts about storage capacity, possible optimizations, and other troubleshooting concerns. Consolidation of multiple systems and storage solutions further improves transparency and ease of access. Consequently, workers can assist customers faster and more effectively.
The system can also automatically move data into different tiers once it reaches the 90-day mark, when it’s generally less helpful to businesses. Predictive analytics and a single control pane help remove storage bottlenecks and adjust practices as necessary to maximize data availability.
Industry: IT services
Storage software product: IBM Storage Insights
- Provided a single point of access for multiple devices in and outside the organization
- Reduced administrative burden
- Optimized storage capacity through automation and improved transparency