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August 15, 2016

Intelligently Manage and Store Data Across Multiple Locations

Nick Cavanaugh

Technological advancements and the emergence of new business models have rapidly altered the landscape of industrial manufacturing.

Today, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors generate data that helps manufacturers monitor the health of equipment, improve predictive maintenance, and enhance operational processes. The adoption of Big Data solutions enables deeper analysis of these growing datasets, resulting in process improvements and more successful products. And distributed manufacturing models allow organizations to leverage IT to place facilities closer to their intended markets, thereby streamlining supply chains and shortening product delivery times.

The continued explosion of data combined with the shift toward geographically-dispersed facilities requires that manufacturers seek better ways to ingest, analyze, store, and access data collected from multiple locations. However, there are tremendous challenges associated with distributed operations and data that continues to grow into the petabyte realm. A key challenge is avoiding data siloes, which inhibit productivity and make analytics highly inefficient. Additionally, maintaining multiple copies of data in different locations can quickly strain storage budgets and eat-up available capacities.

New storage technologies and a few proven best practices can help manufacturers more intelligently manage and store data flowing in from multiple facilities:

  • Standardizing not only data types, but also data collection methods will ensure data can be ingested easily and used for analytics immediately.
  • Online or cloud storage environments provide a centralized location where data from across the organization can reside, helping to eliminate data siloes and simplify user access.
  • Providing real-time user access to scheduling, testing, and production information ensures uniformity of processes across sites and offers management a broader, more holistic view of operations.
  • Moving data that is needed less frequently to the archive will help safeguard information that might eventually be needed for compliance purposes, while reducing storage costs and improving the performance of primary storage.

An active archive environment can help manufacturers manage the data streaming in from multiple facilities, and offer higher levels of storage durability, security, and scalability at reduced costs. Ideal for organizations that require both long-term retention and fast data retrieval capabilities, active archives are also simple to deploy and offer seamless data access to users across the organization.

As data volumes surge and regulatory requirements expand, storage platforms that are designed to automatically move data to less-expensive media types and free up primary storage space can help manufacturers achieve virtually limitless storage at a lower TCO. With an active archive, organizations can integrate and manage massive datasets from multiple facilities, departments, and systems while enhancing storage performance.

Petabyte-scale data volumes accumulating across geographically-distributed facilities require that manufacturers adopt new storage approaches in order to improve productivity, streamline operations, and gain competitive advantage. Innovative storage solutions can help manufacturers extend storage budgets, ensure compliance, and achieve a sustainable archiving strategy for data assets across the organization.

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