Classic Storage Insider, part II

Two columns from the past take a closer look at storage management

Mario Apicella is on vacation, so in his absence we present two classic Storage Insider columns. This week, we're revisiting storage management: learn more about strategies to keep seldom-used archives away from your first-tier storage and data deduplication.

[ MarioApicella's column is now a blog! Get the latest storage news from the Storage Adviser blog. ]

Should you trim your file servers?
March 30, 2007: If you like to cook, you may have played the same game that I sometimes play while waiting in line at the grocery store: Checking out what other shoppers have in their baskets and trying to guess what meals they have in mind.

Silly? Perhaps, but it's better than reading the tabloids.

Watching storage vendors often triggers in me the same type of curiosity to figure out what’s cooking -- that is, in terms of their acquisitions.

The latest vendor to get me guessing is Cisco with its recent one-two punch of NeoPath and WebEx. Those two acquisitions both suggest an expansion of Cisco's menu beyond the traditional data transport focus.

I won't speculate on what Cisco plans to do with WebEx because Ephraim Schwartz has already posted some good thoughts on that, but looking at NeoPath, I see a more elaborate dish in the making than just file virtualization…

Read the rest here: "Should you trim your file servers?"

Prepare for the upcoming data deluge
April 6, 2007: Have you read "The Expanding Digital Universe"? It's a study, commissioned by EMC and put together by IDC, on the amount of digital data that we can expect to see in the next few years. (As due diligence disclosure, IDC is part of IDG, the same editorial group to which InfoWorld belongs.)

I don't know if those global predictions will prove to be correct year after year, give or take an exabyte, and frankly it doesn't matter. What matters is how much data your company is going to create and how you are going to store and manage it.

We know from past experience that blindly purchasing more capacity just pushes the problem back without attempting to solve it. Sure, you can keep buying more storage arrays if the budget allows, but at some point, you will meet an insurmountable wall, such as running out of floor space in your datacenter or hitting the limits of the electrical and cooling systems.

If -- or rather, when -- you reach one of those walls, you face spending millions of dollars to expand or move the computer room, before you can even begin to add more capacity.

What's the alternative? Unfortunately, technology is not keeping up with our capacity demands. For our long-term, nontransactional data, we desperately need a storage medium that can perform faster than tapes or optical disks and is less energy- and space-hungry than disk drives…

Read the rest here: "Prepare for the upcoming data deluge"