Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

Ocarina's Carter George continued the conversation on backups, asking if the conventional backup paradigm was obsolete, and if file copies could serve the same purpose. As mentioned in our "What Is a Backup?" post, this is the same question posed by EMC's Scott Waterhouse recently. Putting Copies To The Test George suggests a copy-based scenario: "Why not just move files that are candidates for being backed up to a separate tier of storage, keeping them as files in their native format, and organizing them in time coherent views?" To determine whether this is truly a backup, let's apply our new rules to determine when a copy becomes a backup: A copy is, by definition, a copy of a set of data. This copy is not mentioned as being protected or offline, which worries the IT admin in me. Could they be overwritten or corrupted? Would they disappear along with the primary data... (more)

Is a Private Cloud Worthwhile?

Much discussion in the cloud computing world has focused on a simple question: Is a private cloud infrastructure worthy of the name? It's been posed in many ways, with some going so far as claiming that there is no such thing as a private cloud. Although discussions like these are all too common in many areas, the question really amounts to little more than counting angels dancing on pin heads. The key issue is whether private cloud-style infrastructure can deliver real benefits like public clouds can. First, let's set out some definitions: The draft NIST definition, perhaps the ... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 1: Too Cheap to Manage

The application of Moore's Law may have led to incredible advances in computing, but the growth of storage capacity is even more impressive. Disk and tape storage density has grown by a factor of 10 every five years, driving out cost and bulk. $250 bought an amazing 20 GB of hard disk space in 1999, but this is nothing compared to the 2 TB that can be had for the same money today. Yet enterprise storage costs have not dropped. The real cost of an enterprise storage array has not fallen significantly in that same period. In fact, the total cost of maintaining storage has actually ... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper?

Why isn't storage getting cheaper? Storage capacity keeps growing, but unstructured data grows at least as fast. IT organizations have tried to contain costs, but tiered storage has not worked out that well. Although there are technical limits to the effectiveness of tiered storage, the biggest challenge is a business one: Disk drives are a very small component in the overall cost of storage. This series of articles attempts to answer the question: Too Cheap to Manage Too Much to Manage Tiered Storage The Glass Floor Storage as a Service The Glass Floor As I've mentioned in the pa... (more)

Cloud Storage Flavors: Platform/Infrastructure and Service/Product

Take a look at the various data storage offerings called "cloud" and your head will start to ache. How can so many things all bear the "cloud storage" name and yet be so totally different? The answer is obvious to long-time industry observers: Each provider has tailored their offering to make it distinct in the market, and each supports different use cases Infrastructure versus Platform Although I am not one to tilt at windmills, especially when it comes to arguing the "rightness" of cloud-based marketing, I sometimes do hit upon a set of terminology that makes sense to me. Wading... (more)