The world of data storage, business continuity and disaster recovery has gone through tremendous changes in recent years. We have seen; consolidation on a large scale by smaller companies that possessed thought leadership into larger organizations, influx of technology such as SSD into mainstream applications, object-based storage take hold for multi-petabyte size application requirements, virtualization extend from network and server environments to storage, and backup and replication technologies functionality converge.
DST is focused on shining a light on advancements in technologies that can increase productivity, decrease overall cost and simplify the environment, as we believe that data trends in the marketplace warrant the need for a re-think in how we manage and store data.
The first such advancement is Storage Virtualization. Storage Virtualization works in much the same way as server virtualization. There is an abstraction between the physical hardware (the array) and the processing of the data. Whether a structured data environment (SAN) or an unstructured data environment (NAS) the data management and ownership is abstracted from the hardware that the data resides on, creating a flexible central point of management for the entire heterogeneous resource pool. The advantages of virtualization:
- Create unparallel data mobility, fluidly assigning data to storage resources.
- Easily control and manage multiple physical resources from a single pane of glass.
- Flexibly set policies across entire ecosystem or volume by volume.
- Ability to commoditized infrastructure as the intelligence is divorced from hardware.
- Platform agnostic replication and virtualization.
Replication, Disaster Recovery and Backup is another area of technology convergence. All of these functions can be done now in a single piece of software from a single pane of glass more efficiently, with better recovery points and recovery times. Backup vendors are integrating with storage snapshot technology, storage vendors are able to create more snapshots and business continuity/disaster recovery product vendors are integrating file level catalogs – all evidence of several markets collapsing as technology advances.
Another popular topic of conversation is SSD. SSD Augmentation and Cloud-based Storage i.e. “Amazon”-esque storage are two areas of hardware evolution that will dominate the storage industry in the years ahead. The price point between SAS/FC drives and SSD drives is narrowing. The SSD technology is improving its longevity of use and addressing other issues that kept it from broad acceptance. Performance benefits from SSD are game changing in some environments – VDI in particular offers users a much different experience when it is on SSD.
Object based storage which is the productizing of the technologies that Amazon and Rack Space have been using for years offers organizations to rethink how they do business. Especially in the entertainment industry – the question becomes “what would I do if storage costs went on sale at 70% off or more” – what would you keep on line available for customers or for internal use if cost were not a factor.
DST as an organization works with customers to consultatively look through the emerging technologies and create options that have value to your specific needs.