Growing Diversity in Storage Management

Arthur Cole
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Changing the Way You Purchase Storage

Ensure that IT has the flexibility to build and efficiently run a shared infrastructure.

No matter what changes take place in storage infrastructure, from the cloud to SSDs to consolidation, the one constant is efficient and effective management.

The problem, though, is that as storage resources become more diverse and more distributed, managing them as a cohesive whole becomes more difficult. It's not a question of building more universality into management platforms, however, as much as developing the appropriate levels of visibility and resource flexibility to ensure the proper dispersal and retrieval of data across various storage tiers.

EMC, for example, has beefed up its ProSphere management stack with new tools to gauge consumption and usage patterns and then alert admins of potential problems before they occur. The system is aimed at improving resource utilization and performance levels in highly fluid data environments, such as those found in virtual, cloud and IT-as-a-service infrastructures.

For Symantec, the goal is better data governance, particularly when it comes to the growing volumes of unstructured data. The new version of the Data Insight platform provides for continuous monitoring of data usage designed to allow enterprises to establish rules-based policies for data ownership and improved reclamation, chargeback and other functions. Ultimately, this should provide for greater collaboration, compliance, data protection and other functions, even as it helps lower overall storage costs.

Warehousing is also fertile ground for improved management. Teradata's new Active Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) 6690, for example, has adapted its Virtual Storage platform to enable speedy transfer between hot and cold storage tiers. Rather than simply moving data between inner and outer tracks of hard disk drives, the system now operates across SSD and HDD tiers. It also features a high degree of customization ability, allowing enterprises to set usage levels and other parameters across storage architectures.

Cloud providers are also eager to boost their management capabilities as they work to overcome the discomfort many enterprises have with external infrastructure. NaviSite has added a self-service management portal to its platform, providing tools like VM backup and point-and-click NAS deployment to bolster data reliability and business continuity. New services can be tied to virtual machines using CIFS or NFS connections to keep costs under control.

Improved storage management is a never-ending function for IT. The more complicated storage infrastructure becomes, the greater the challenge to not only maintain data access and availability, but to improve on it for new generations of users and access devices.

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