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Network: The FAN vision

In a recent survey, the Taneja Group found that 62% of IT decision-makers identified file data growth and file management as two of their top priorities. File-based data is all that unstructured data that sits outside of databases—office documents, presentations, email, reports, records, audio and video content, images—yet are stored and accessed by systems.

Previously, IT focused on structured data, the core transaction operational data that sits at the heart of the enterprise. It has become apparent, however, that structured data isn’t the problem now and it will be less of the problem going forward. The problem, as the respondents to Taneja’s survey made clear, is unstructured, file-based data. As it turns out, 85% of all data is stored as unstructured data (Butler Group) and 80% of business is conducted with unstructured information (Gartner Group).

Furthermore, unstructured data, according to Gartner, is growing at an unprecedented rate, doubling every three months. This incessant growth leads to what is referred to as the storage paradox: the need to store increasing amounts of data only complicates the storage infrastructure, adding to its complexity and cost.

Fortunately, unstructured or file-based data is different from structured or block-based data. File data can be handled at a higher level of abstraction, which simplifies how the data is stored, accessed, and managed. By taking advantage of the differences between file and block data, organizations can effectively resolve the storage paradox.

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