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n°23  |  February   2008

Data storage: insuring yourself against risk

D Lamouche

There has never been so much discussion about risk as over the past few months. Risk is a word we hear every day now. It’s the focus of much political and economic debate. And its omnipresence highlights just what turbulent times we are living through. Because risk is endemic to change. For businesses who have to constantly come up with new innovations, risk is even a permanent fixture: a stimulus that is just as worrying as it is essential.

There is a significant risk that data will fall into the wrong hands, or be permanently lost or inaccessible. In our knowledge-based society, it is absolutely vital to have complete control over information capital. Disasters, malicious acts, human error, hardware breakdowns... all pose a threat to data storage systems, and the consequences of an incident can prove disastrous. With the amount of data needing to be stored currently growing at around 60% a year, the technological and cost factors involved are also becoming more and more significant. Not only are demands becoming colossal, but also increasingly complex, because of the variety of formats and the explosion in non-structured data. However, technology is no longer an issue: 32,000 pieces of music or 80 DVD resolution movies can now be stored on a 2 cm2 silicon chip! Therefore the strategic challenge as far as storage is concerned is not technological, but rather in the integration of these rapidly-evolving technologies.

Against this backdrop indeed, it is no longer possible, from an operational or cost point of view, to store everything unselectively. We need to adopt customized and innovative data protection solutions, with greater security of access and powerful research engines. An example of this: the new CEA and Bull world record performance, completing in just six seconds an image search among 22 million images! Only a technology partner who masters the full range of critical components in the data storage chain (storage, servers, high availability, security…), is able to integrate the best technologies and offer each organization the most appropriate storage solution for its own, specific environment. This is the idea behind the fifth initiative in Bull’s 7i program. In this world increasingly burdened by risks, Bull is able to provide the most rigorous guarantees.

Didier Lamouche
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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