One of the biggest challenges CIOs face is “keeping it simple”, argues Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) SVP Barry Morrison.

In the wake of the announcement that HDS is offering its new enterprise cloud infrastructure, Morrison sits down with ComputerworldUK to talk about the pitfalls of data management.

While business and IT have never been as aligned as now, he says, there are still clashes when it comes to data storage. CEOs, understandably, are increasingly looking to the public cloud for cheaper alternatives to storing data.

Morrison said: “There’s a billion applications out there and of those billion a significant proportion have only been built in the past three of four years. A lot of people go to the cloud because they don’t have the skills, the people or the resources to manage that environment. But when you’re managing big enterprise, like banks and telecommunications, it’s different. Customers wouldn’t want their money sitting in the cloud.”

Hitachi’s new continuous cloud infrastructure aims to provide the simplicity of public cloud but without the security risks through its “one-management solution” that promises to “keep big infrastructure simple”.

Morrison says that content solutions are on their way and that HDS is currently “focusing all of our energy on content and big data”. But the future for data management is not all rosy, he says: “It’s going to get worse.”

‘Scary’ data growth

With conflicting international management regulations, shaky EU governance on data management and CIOs relying on CEOs to set data policies security and management governance is increasingly becoming a sore point.

“People want to store everything but truth be known there’s probably 16 copies of everything out there,” says Morrison.

“Most people in the block world [managing structured data as oppose to structured, or "file", data] make six to eight copies because they’re fearful of an outage - if banks don’t have five or six copies their customers would be sick.”

Morrison says that Hitachi customers’ structured data has been growing by about 40 percent every year.

“It varies per customer, it could be 30 percent growth for some and 80 percent for others,” he says.

“The challenge is the CIO can’t set the policy because the business wants to keep it forever. You’re starting to see some policies get set - healthcare with a 100-year cut-off point for example, but the unstructured data world is really scary right now. Wait until we get machine-to-machine data.”

One airline flight is worth around one petabyte of data according to Morrison: “We have to figure this out.”

The HDS offering

Meanwhile, Morrison breaks down what the new cloud systems can offer enterprises.

He says: “The technology is in the new box - we had the VSP and now its a VSP1000 - it’s now super scaleable. You can start small and scale up. It is significantly larger in scale, higher in performance and smaller in footprint so we think it is going to be double the life-time of most technologies. We’ve leapfrogged from the VSP that had about four years.

"We’re not saying we’re not going to have upgrades, but this new, interchangeable box means you don't have to move the frame and migrate the data. It’s simpler.”