Storage Area Networks Help
Manage Huge Data Flows
Data volumes are growing in excess of 100% per year. Where is all this data coming from? Think about it.
Insurance companies are all about databe it customer data, actuarial data, demographic data, as well as the myriad of other business and marketing data that carriers generate. Due to compliance and other regulatory issues, companies are collecting and maintaining data at a faster rate than ever.
Thats why concerns over data loss that disrupts business-critical applications are at the forefront of the CIOs mind. Disaster recovery and data inaccessibility are great concerns in IT organizations today. Due to the time it takes to back up server data, companies are keenly aware of their inability to respond quickly to data outages.
In the insurance industry, a data outage could result in an agent being unable to provide a walk-in customer a quotation because the system was inaccessible. This spontaneous customer might leave in frustration and go to a competitor for a policy. Or it may lead to a customer service representative not being able to pull up an angry customers data, leaving them to hang up in anger and start looking for another insurer.
In addition, compliance issues such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have put a new emphasis on the importance of data. Virtually all organizations electronically handling health information must comply with HIPAA and be able to demonstrate (if audited) that they comply.
Other compliance issues relating to financial reporting also are driving the influx of huge amounts of data.
As the amount of data under management began to grow dramatically in the 1990s, straining the resources of existing computing systems, companies tended to “throw more hardware” at the problem. But simply adding more servers and storage devices compounded the problem of multiple direct-attached storage environments?and more than likely didnt satisfactorily address performance and availability issues.
To provide a solution for managing the data onslaught, more and more organizations are moving from a direct-attached environment to a storage area network (SAN) environment. The reason? There is an obvious need to better manage the ever-increasing volumes of business data, enhance security, and provide faster and more efficient backup capabilities.
A SAN is a dedicated, centrally managed, secure information infrastructure that enables any-to-any interconnection of servers and storage systems.