The amount of digital information flooding the modern enterprise today creates a data quandary for many organizations. Manufacturers in particular welcome the idea of making data-driven insights, but even the most technologically savvy companies struggle to integrate multiple disparate systems, connect to a global ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers, and securely transfer large files and data sets.
With smart sensors now embedded at virtually every level of production and the supply chain for high-tech, automotive, CPG, pharmaceutical and numerous other manufacturing organizations, data is an omnipresent and ever-growing reality that promises great potential for fresh insights. But such an interdependence on data also presents equally fresh challenges.
Amazon recently launched a service to literally drive a truck to your data center, load it up with all of your data, and drive it back to an Amazon server farm to plug it in and push it to the cloud. The rationale behind this offering stems from the idea that businesses looking to move massive amounts of data — terabytes and petabytes of information — to Amazon’s cloud don’t have a fast, affordable option to do so over the internet. But what if they did?
Modern business has advanced so far technologically that it now relies on less technological methods for moving and maintaining critical digital data. As paradoxical as it sounds, organizations have few reliable software options to securely pipe massive amounts of information into and out of the enterprise at the speed businesses require.
Given these limitations, mega-companies like Amazon recognize the need to bring its own massive data centers — those comprising its Amazon Web Services (AWS) — closer to the point of data generation. But this particular truck service, with its obvious security and risk issues, might need only occur in the largest companies and just once or twice a year. So what’s a business to do about the high-volume, large data set transfers it must facilitate on a daily basis?
Transferring petabytes of data anywhere — physically or digitally — will still take a considerable amount of time to move, and not every business can afford to summon an Amazon truck to back up its databases or move log files to the cloud. But the organization looking to replace unsecured physical data movement and affordably move large volumes of information while maintaining control of the endpoints will benefit from accelerated data transfer and governance capabilities, especially when those capabilities already fully integrate with your B2B systems, cloud solutions and internal applications.
The Data Deluge
In today’s business ecosystem, as the size of data increases for all communications with customers, partners, distributors and suppliers, as well as with internal applications and backup systems, the smooth exchange of data becomes much more difficult using traditional legacy file transfer tools. By 2020, experts estimate that 1.7 MBs of new digital information will generate every second for every person on Earth, and that number increases exponentially for businesses.
But businesses, including manufacturers, are using traditional protocols over high-latency networks — or, on a smaller non-Amazon-truck scale, are still shipping physical devices — to transfer these growing data sets internally and externally. With all of this digital innovation, organizations lean far too much on less innovative methods as a means to successfully complete routine tasks.
A high-speed data transfer protocol harnesses the power of lean file transfer and integration technology to accelerate the flow of large files and data sets, specifically over long distances between servers, data centers and other destinations. Accelerated file transfer enables businesses to efficiently move data while also maintaining control and governance when:
- Moving large data sets into and out of data lakes
- Copying databases between data centers to create redundancy and backup
- Transferring and receiving huge data sets from partners
Recognizing the need for a high-speed file transfer solution now positions your business for a future that includes further data volume increases, but recognizing the kinds of capabilities such a solution should include can be less clear.
A next-generation accelerated file transfer solution must quickly, easily and securely move extremely large files while also supporting blazing-fast transfers of smaller files over existing network bandwidth and resources.
While most high-speed data transfer solutions in the market are either hardware-based or based on lesser-used network technologies, an advanced software-based solution can be deployed as part of an enterprise shared-architecture model powered by the same engine that drives your routine B2B processes, all on a single platform.
Transfer speed obviously will be the priority, but an advanced high-speed solution also must enable organizations to monitor and track performance metrics from both an IT and a business perspective, as well as act on data via reports and dashboards based on business objectives.
In addition to the tracking, alerting, and authentication, a leading solution supports:
- External accelerated file transfer for files of all sizes with support for other protocols and big data connectors
- Advanced encryption to secure data in motion
- Guaranteed delivery of transferred packets
- Feeding data directly to cloud architectures or big data storage mechanisms
- Metadata tagging to extend the technology into other applications
- Automatic checkpoint restart and data integrity checks
Amazon recognized that the way most companies currently move massive amounts of information isn’t good enough, and with data volumes only continuing to increase across the consumer and business spectrums, their customers need creative solutions. Vendors extending high-speed software solutions to digitally exchange information will be ahead of the curve in serving their customers.
For the business that can’t simply order up a high-tech truck to take away its data, an advanced high-speed file transfer solution from one of these vendors provides an efficient and affordable way to securely move mission-critical data.
Arvind Venugopal is a Senior Product Manager at Cleo.