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How storage can help businesses become data-driven and cyber resilient

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 4 min read
How storage can help businesses become data-driven and cyber resilient
According to Zhou, today’s storage solutions must help organisations manage new apps and data to be resilient to ransomware. Photo: Huawei
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Almost everything we do today generates and uses data. With global data volume expected to reach one yottabyte (equivalent to a quadrillion gigabyte) by 2030, organisations must ensure their IT infrastructure — especially data storage systems — enables them to manage their data effectively and securely.

Dr Peter Zhou, president of the IT product line at Huawei, highlights the major challenges of managing data in the digital world at the company’s Innovative Data Infrastructure Forum 2023. The first is the rise of new types of apps. “With more than half (56%) of enterprises today already adopting artificial intelligence (AI) applications in their production and decision-making systems, they need a new data paradigm. An autonomous car, for example, requires data collection and pre-processing, AI to train it for different scenarios, high-performance computing for simulations, and AI again for inference. This means the underlying data storage system must be able to facilitate diversified data processing,” says Zhou.

He adds that most organisations are also planning to build more cloud-native apps. As such, they need data storage containers to flexibly move those apps from a public cloud to an on-premises data centre whenever the business or regulators require it.

The second challenge is the increasing volume of unstructured data generated, which is growing at a CAGR of 38%. The Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai is one organisation that relies on unstructured data. Daily, its radiology and ultrasound departments access hundreds of millions of small files (each in kilobytes), while the pathology department views large files of up to 3GB. The hospital, therefore, requires a high-performance data storage system that can scale to deliver data reliably and cost-effectively. By deploying Huawei’s storage solution, the various departments in Ruijin Hospital can now read 1,000 images per second.

Organisations are also faced with data gravity as data may be stored in different places. If data cannot move to wherever it is needed or be unified, organisations cannot fully utilise the information they have and make informed decisions. “By embedding an intelligent data fabric into data storage systems, organisations can better organise and manage their data regardless of the location of the data. In the case of China Mobile, they are using Huawei’s data fabric technology to consolidate data generated from different places across China, organise and store them in one piece of equipment — all of which also supports their data mining activities,” says Zhou.

Becoming ransomware resilient

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With cyber threats rising, organisations must also improve their data resilience. “We’re seeing a 98% y-o-y growth in ransomware variants, and that over 14% of enterprises are unable to restore their data after a ransomware attack. So, we need to ensure data storage is the last line of defence for data resilience by integrating more resilience features into our data storage solutions,” adds Zhou.

Hugo Doucet, Huawei’s sales director of Belgium and Luxemburg Enterprise Business Group, says ransomware protection demands multiple layers of protection. “Network function should be designed to prevent, block, scan and eliminate ransomware, while storage needs to safeguard data by making it immutable and recoverable.”

This is why Huawei’s ransomware protection storage solution offers six-layer comprehensive protection. “The six layers include network anti-intrusion, network anti-proliferation, detection and analysis, secure snapshots, backup recovery, and air gap protection,” shares Doucet. He also states that the solution leverages machine learning for accurate ransomware identification.

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The solution comes with an isolation zone, which Doucet claims is “more effective and secure to keep data invisible to ransomware”. It also offers rapid recovery by using secure local snapshots and Huawei’s OceanProtect, which has a bandwidth of up to 172TB/hr. “Restore time is key when you’re attacked. With OceanProtect, organisations can recover data from their backup system very quickly,” he says.

“In the face of digitalisation trends, Huawei will continue working with global industry and ecosystem partners to innovate data storage for new data, new apps and new resilience. This will help promote the development of the digital economy and accelerate the journey towards an intelligent world,” adds Yang Chaobin, board member and president of ICT Products and Solutions at Huawei.

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