Tricks to better utilize the In-premise Storage

DQI Bureau
New Update

Cloud based storage is seen as the way forward for liberating from a range

of complexities associated with storage. At this point, many see cloud storage

as a complimentary technology which will be used as per the unique requirements.

The area in which cloud will bring defined benefits is managing the storage

resources judiciously. Making storage as a service and at the same time gaining

control on aspects like backup is what cloud storage promises.


We are All in

Microsofts Steve Ballmer in a talk in the US recently said about the cloud,

We are all in. This meant nobody can ignore the cloud. Trends at this point of

time suggest that in 2010, organizations of all sizes will put in place a cloud

strategy. Since IT infrastructure is a major pain area, most enterprises will

look at ways and means to move some of the in-premise infrastructure offsite and

opt for a multiple cloud combination like public, private or a hybrid cloud


Experts suggest that any organization considering cloud computingwhether

its within the IT organization or as a public services providerthey should

look at agile cloud technologies that can accelerate and simplify the adoption

of enterprise cloud computing environment. In a storage environment, closer

scrutiny must be done on the solutions ability to create the most integrated

set of computing resources that create a single pool of virtualized block, file

and content storage to support the diverse uses that cloud computing has today

and enable organizations to adopt cloud services at their own pace. As part of

the new agile cloud demands, one should also look at the ability of the platform

to provide security, reliability and multi-tenancy for cloud infrastructures.

Moreover in a storage cloud, it is important to look at the virtualization

capabilities. It is important because with sophisticated virtualization

capabilities, a secure, multi-tenant environmentthat ensures privacy among

various constituents within a shared infrastructure that can be managed from a

single command suitecan be created. Also, one should look at the support for a

variety of protocols and third party technology. Storage administrators can

further leverage the existing investments in hardware and software, and allow

legacy devices to inherit cloud attributes. This would prevent cloud from

becoming just another silo; thus, eliminating the need for a complete refresh or

update of hardware and software, or the need to rewrite applications. As a

result, a good cloud solution will enable enterprises to choose the best

possible technologies to address the challenges, and it will be within the

enterprises budget. So, an integrated set of cloud solutions can deliver an

agile cloud infrastructure that empowers one to look at the existing IT

infrastructure in innovative and cost effective ways of managing it.


Why Cloud Storage

According to experts, the need for cloud storage stems from the fact that it

leads to data growth and periodic investments in managing it. Spends on data

management happened even in the weak economic scenario. Industry analysts say

that in fact, for some businesses, data growth is accelerating at this time as

more and more organizations use analytics to find new revenue opportunities, or

ways to tweak the business model to drive top and bottom line growth.

Cloud based storage is seen as a panacea for storage woes because traditional

storage technologies were not designed for use in the multi-petabyte scale

Internet era. With traditional storage architectures, new arrays need to be

added as capacity requirements increase. As the number of arrays under

management grows, the storage environment becomes increasingly complex, harder

to manage, and more costly to operate. This brings negative consequences to the

businessincreased time to market, loss of productivity, and decreased

flexibility. Traditional storage technologies continue to excel in the areas

they were designed to addressnamely transactional and distributed computingbut

these solutions fall short at the Internet scale. The pressure to reduce

operating costs and do more with less has never been higher, especially in the

face of accelerated data growth. IT is facing limited capital budgets and

running out of floor space, power, and cooling capacity. These factors are

driving users to consider new storage deployment models like cloud storage.

Unique Solutions

Since cloud is an emerging technology and applying it to domain specific

requirements calls for careful planning and the right selection of solutions

that meet the unique requirements. CIOs can select the right solutions by

looking at the vendors portfolio and go beyond point-products. This makes them

go for vendors offerings which are designed to be a part of a broader scenario

like the ability to manage multiple storage tiers to balance resource

utilization and meet defined service levels, and the ability to migrate data

dynamically and automatically across storage tiers.


So clearly, cloud storage is an important development which if rightly

deployed brings in high storage utilization. It makes storage resources

available on demand and makes aspects like provisioning, backup and archiving

much easier.

Looking at the benefits despite the concept of cloud storage in its infancy,

the value enterprises accrue by adopting cloud storage is indeed compelling. The

benefits are big and this is due to the fact that the storage cloud will

integrate and virtualize the key storage elements like disks and controllers,

enable capacity planning to scalability and reduce the overall TCO and

manageability costs. The enterprise storage cloud brings a lot of benefits and

intelligent management features. It is seen as the next major step in managing

diverse storage environments using either private or a public cloud. While cloud

computing itself is a macro concept and its further maturing is manifesting in

specialized services such as storage cloud. Specialized cloud services need

good delivery and solution ecosystem, and vendors who have good solution breadth

and delivery will gain most out of the storage cloud business.

The emergence of specialized clouds is seen as a good development for

enterprises as it brings in greater utilization of storage assets leading to

bigger RoI and lesser TCO. For instance, achieving storage RoI is one big

challenge for enterprises. It depends on creating effective storage

architecture, hence, needs to factor in lots of best practices so that economics

can be achieved. By adopting cloud, some analysts feel organizations can achieve

higher storage economics. Storage economics is all about creating a fine balance

between storage spends and the actual requirements so that one arrives at

greater RoI due to optimal use of the assets. Experts aver that there are proven

strategic and tactical investments for storage infrastructure cost reduction and

cloud storage is seen as one among them.

Shrikanth G