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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

August 22, 2023 | Bruce Kornfeld

Help Customers Gain an ‘Edge’ on Unstructured Data Management

Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions offer an easy, affordable way to manage your customer’s unstructured data at the edge.

The global data explosion is showing no signs of slowing down, and channel partners today are tasked with helping their end users manage everything affordably. VARs, IT consultants, and MSPs alike are getting more and more questions about the challenges surrounding unstructured data, as their customers struggle to figure out the best ways to manage it all.

In conjunction with data growth everywhere, edge computing adoption is also trending upward. This means that customers are managing multiple sites on limited budgets, and need to run applications locally, close to where their data is being generated and processed—all without sacrificing uptime. What’s unique is that this data being generated at the edge—from surveillance cameras, server logs, applications, sensors, and more—is increasingly unstructured data.

Customers and partners know that this scenario eliminates the cloud as a viable option for many SMB, remote office/branch office (ROBO), and chain customers. The cloud is cost and time prohibitive, and potentially introduces downtime scenarios. In response, the latest AI tools are becoming more widely available, which is helping these users better run analytics right at their edge sites, thus enabling them to make decisions locally and quickly.

The Unstructured Data Dilemma

According to Gartner, unstructured data accounts for an estimated 80% to 90% of all new enterprise data, and research firm ITC has previously predicted that the volume of unstructured data is set to grow from zettabytes in 2018 to billions of terabytes. Furthermore, IDC estimates that merely 10% will be stored and even less analyzed, a prediction that could mean thousands of companies are ignoring or actively deciding not to leverage valuable business intelligence.

IoT data and video footage are two examples of unstructured data that are generating vast amounts of digital information that must be classified, managed, and/or stored. For example, retail stores usually have multiple applications running to manage point-of-sale (POS) information and inventory, which is constantly changing. Manufacturing plants typically deploy thousands of sensors that monitor and track machine operation performance, which can each produce several data points per minute, or even per second.

Data retention and protection will likely be raised in any meeting with prospects or existing clients. Customers will need a cost analysis of edge versus cloud storage and archive options, as well as guidance on how long to keep their data, depending on the type of data being managed and stored.

Uptime is another critical concern that will vary widely depending on the customer’s industry and data type. Some companies rely heavily on having all their data available and accessible 24/7.

Edge sites are particularly vulnerable to overprovisioning, and partners are in a unique position to help ensure customers are not falling into this trap. So many solutions look simple from the outside (“plug and play”) but often include too many features and too much hardware that will kill the budget.

The Case for HCI

Now that your customer has relayed their specific shortlist of requirements, it’s time for you to propose buildable solutions that address them all. There are several solutions to help customers overcome the challenges of unstructured data management offerings at the edge, many of which include tools to help them automate and manage their large data sets.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions offer an easy, affordable way to manage unstructured data at the edge. HCI solutions include infrastructure tools that ensure uptime and come in a variety of configurations to meet exact requirements and budgets—in single to many server configurations. These solutions are already well-adopted in ROBO environments and smaller retail businesses that simply do not have the space to house large hardware to keep their businesses running.

The growth of unstructured data is presenting more questions than ever before. MSPs can help their customers keep the challenges of unstructured data management under control with HCI solutions.

BRUCE KORNFELD is chief marketing and product officer at StorMagic, where he is responsible for all aspects of global marketing, product management, and alliances for the company. an experienced technology executive who has held leadership roles in marketing, product management, alliances and business development in the storage, server, networking and security industries. Follow him on Twitter @brucekornfeld. 


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