A well-managed storage architecture provides the solid infrastructure on which critical business initiatives dependent on flexible and rapid access to transparently available data can be built. The move to make storage a companywide utility requires a variety of new technologies to create a stable storage platform.
Effective Storage Allows the Business To
- Provide users with continuous uptime.
- Deliver data to users more rapidly, and in the formats they require.
- Make more flexible decisions about moving and merging workgroups.
- More readily establish new data-intensive business initiatives.
- Gives the organization a rationale for centralizing and standardizing resources.
- Provides a competitive advantage to the organization by making it more agile.
- Saves money through better use of existing hardware, and by allowing companies to buy less expensive hardware.
- Technology is in flux, with industrywide standards still emerging.
- Some technologies, such as Storage Area Networks, can be initially more expensive, especially for smaller companies.
- May create frictions between departments that are required to merge their storage resources.
enterprisestorageforum.com EarthWeb site devoted to large-scale storage issues.
www.networkstorageu.com Variety of online courses on enterprise storage (some vendor involvement).
snia.org Web site of the vendor-sponsored Storage Network Industry Association.
networkbuyersguide.com/netstorguide Series of online guides provided by Strategic Research Corp.
searchstorage.com Storage-specific search site.
storagemagazine.com Exclusive focus on storage management strategies.
EMC (emc.com): Top vendor of networked storage and storage management software, and an OEM to many other storage companies. Offerings include CLARiiON NAS, Celerra HighRoad and ESN Manager for SANs.
IBM (www.storage.ibm.com/snetwork): Number two in networked storage, third in storage management software. Broad product range includes NAS 100 through 300 line, SAN Switches and iSCSI NAS box.
Veritas (veritas.com): Second in storage management software. ServPoint software can be used with industry-standard hardware to create SAN and NAS devices.
Compaq (www.compaq.com/storage): Third in networked storage. Rechristened HP StorageWorks line includes NAS1000 departmental to NAS Executor E7000 enterprise unit, as well as a variety of SAN products.
Virtualization: The process of separating the formerly merged components of operating system, application processing and storage.
Network-Attached Storage (NAS): Allows storage devices to be connected directly to the network, to be shared by servers and users over an IP.
Storage Area Network (SAN): A pool of storage devices managed in a separate network based on the Fibre Channel scheme.
Storage Area Management (SAM): An emerging set of software components that allow IT departments to manage all network storage as a pool of resources.