Humans are quickly being outnumbered by Internet-connected devices that are constantly collecting and transmitting data. The term used to describe this is the Internet of Things. Regardless of how you feel about it, the explosion in machine-generated data is changing storage and data protection forever.
These machines -- or things -- perform a range of tasks, relatively simple functions like capturing images and uploading them to social sharing sites, capturing and transmitting more complicated sensor data, and sending real-time information on an organization's various assets. Thanks to analytics, businesses now want the ability to, say, compare the current condition of their assets with that of five years ago.
The impact on storage at first seems fairly obvious: There is more data to store. The less obvious part is that machine-generated data comes in two distinct types, creating two entirely different challenges. First, there is large-file data, such as images and videos captured from smartphones and other devices. This data type is typically accessed sequentially. The second data type is very small -- for example, log-file data captured from sensors. These sensors, while small in size, can create billions of files that must be accessed randomly.
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— George Crump is president and founder of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments.