Industry Blog

Why it’s time to rethink on-premise data storage and management

Time to read: 3 minutes

Data is growing exponentially. And that was even before the pandemic. In 2019 Seagate and IDC estimated that data in enterprises increased at a 42.2% annual growth rate – and that in 2020 enterprises created and captured 6.4 zettabytes of new data. IDC raised its concerns about the ability to use that data effectively – it warned that many enterprises will find it hard to leverage that data due to security and data management challenges. In fact, there are several challenges that highlight why old-school enterprise data management ways are no longer viable in an era where data is king and where network transformation offers both opportunities and challenges.

So, when developing a data management strategy, start with four questions:

  • How do we guarantee the data’s privacy and security of data?
  • How do we avoid vendor-lock in?
  • Can we ensure interoperability?
  • Can we create value from that data?

On-premise data management

Some enterprises have kept their data stored in “data rooms”, on-premise. There are several reasons for this including data sovereignty about the storage of data. In some parts of the world, businesses fear that the connectivity infrastructure to a data centre could suffer an outage, so opt for an on-premise strategy to have reliable access to their data.

Another reason for having data stored locally is for ultra-low latency use cases – so vast data sets can be processed faster. applications such as video-based analytics in manufacturing can generate vast data sets. As such, if a manufacturer needed to process that large data set ultra-fast at the edge, they may prefer to store that data closer to their warehouse or factory.

Effective data management at the edge has been a challenge for many businesses who have been trying to transform their networks. Trying to synchronize their data effectively with no single point of truth for data has been an uphill struggle. Enea recently developed the world’s first 5G virtual schema to map data models into a single customizable view from the Core to the edge. 5G offers plenty of opportunities for effective data management.

Today, enterprises are increasingly using private 5G cellular networks to transport and connect their data points. Many are looking to deploy 5G because it is a new technology and offers future proofing. 5G also is designed to support many unique IoT (Internet of Things) requirements, such as 1 millisecond latency via the Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) feature set.

Effective data management

There are a few considerations for data management. Zero-touch automation without human oversight is critical to avoid errors. Storing, managing, and handling subscriber and network data is an extremely sensitive task. The solution must replicate data as required, easing the creation of 5G slices and stateless 5G core services, while also delivering data at the edge for performance-sensitive, ultra-reliable, low-latency applications.

Faced with statutory requirements and privacy concerns, some enterprises –depending on the region – are now opting for the hybrid data management models with on-premise being the main form of data storage. In this instance, the main data storage system can have unencrypted data on-premise while the encrypted data can be on the cloud-based data center.

Working with enterprises, especially those with private 5G networks in APAC, we have observed that some small to mid-scale businesses have utilized on-premise and cloud. This can provide a secure environment while being compliant to regulations. It simplifies data governance and data locality issues, delivering high Service Level Agreement (SLA) performance and efficiency.

It is important is to have a universal data management strategy that is both consistent and robust – with a special focus on interoperability and security. You cannot have a Windows program in your private data room and a containerized version in the other. It needs to be the same. The software needs to be able to run local and remote, or local and in the cloud to ensure interoperability and robust security.

Resource sharing between telcos and enterprises demands a healthy strategy to ensure proper isolation of data. A 5G cloud-native solution that maximizes revenues and minimizes risk, especially as analyzing vast quantities of data can offer a number of benefits for private 5G use cases. As such, it is important to choose a trusted partner with a solid track record to manage and secure sensitive subscriber information.