The Need for Smarter Storage

    There’s a lot to rightfully complain about when it comes to data management. Most IT organizations don’t really have any effective data management policies in place, which generally results in low utilization rates of expensive primary storage systems.

    The real question is who is at fault here because of this. A lot of folks will point the finger at the IT organization, when in reality the storage systems should be smart enough to figure out what data is being used when and by whom. Armed with that information, the system itself should essentially prioritize what data is being stored where.

    That’s the thinking that went into the development of the Dell Fluid Data architecture that spans the company’s EqualLogic and Compellent data storage product lineup, says Travis Vigil, executive director for Dell storage. What sets Dell storage products apart, says Vigil, is that the systems have an internal load balancer that identifies hot spots and then stores that data in the appropriate tier. That not only improves performance for those data sets, but it also substantially reduces the number of storage administrators required.

    To further increase the amount of data those storage systems can handle, Dell today released upgrades to the EqualLogic product line, including a PS4100 Series that supports up to 36TB in a single array and a PS6100 Series that provides access of up to 72TB in a single array and 1.2PB in a single group. Both systems take advantage of 2.5-inch drives that Dell is making available in the EqualLogic lineup for the first time.

    No matter how much data a storage system can hold, the complexity of managing that environment only increases as more data is added to the system, unless IT organizations find a way to automate the management of that data. That kind of automation has generally been available on high-end storage systems. The good news is that kind of capability is finally finding its way down to the midrange where arguably it’s now needed most.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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