Data Integrity in Mixed Environments

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Data integrity is moving forward on the list of top enterprise concerns as the prevalence of mixed environments continues to grow.


The need has become so great that previously disparate vendors are joining together to foster common platforms intended to ensure data is handed off cleanly from one environment to the next. An example is the newly formed Data Integrity Initiative (DII), announced this week by Oracle, Emulex, LSI and Seagate. Launched under ANSI's T10 Data Integrity Field (DIF) standard, the system provides a common means for hardware and software to monitor data from application to host bus adapter to RAID array and finally to disk storage.


The only thing that's missing is participation from the Fibre Channel community.


And for those of you who think your RAID level provides enough protection against corruption, that may not hold true if you're pursuing a storage consolidation strategy, as ComputerWeekly points out here. Not only does RAID cut down on overall disk capacity, but should a disk introduce a fault somewhere in the array, it will still take time to rebuild it using parity data from another disk.


There are still no rock-solid ways to eliminate all corruption from the network, and there probably never will be. But at least there are active movements afoot to lessen the occurrence of faults and to minimize the damage of those that still take place.