As a spinoff of 3M, it’s understandable that most people equate Imation with backup and archiving, especially after recently acquiring Nexsan. After all, Nexsan made its mark delivering disk-based storage systems that automate secondary storage.
But Imation is now also pushing into primary storage. The latest example is the Nexsan NST5000 hybrid storage system, which increases the amount of available storage by 400 percent while at the same time making solid-state drives available at costs that are roughly 50 percent lower than previous generations of Nexsan storage.
According to Nexsan Chief Strategy Officer George Symons, the tiers of storage that exist in the enterprise are starting to blur, especially in the wake of the emergence of Flash-based storage on both the server and on network-attached storage (NAS) systems.
What’s needed next, says Symons, is a tighter coupling on the server and NAS that reduces the complexity associated with trying to figure out what data should be allocated to what class of storage based on the performance requirements of the application and the policies of the IT organization.
The big problem with storage right now isn’t necessarily the amount of data involved. The real issue is that a lot of the processes associated with managing the volume of data are not only manual; they are based on antiquated notions of allocating dedicated storage resources to a specific application. The end result of that approach is reasonable application performance made possible by utilization rates that are in the 20 percent range. Obviously, when the amount of data that needs to be processed is doubling and tripling every year, those kinds of utilization rates are no longer economically sustainable.
Naturally, Imation sees that change as an opportunity to deliver a storage platform that spans primary, secondary and tertiary storage, which when you think about it can no longer really be managed in isolation given all the data involved. It’s too early to say exactly how all this will shake out. But the one thing that is for certain is that most existing storage systems are already obsolete.