Storage Strategy for the Distributed Enterprise

Storage Strategy for the Distributed Enterprise

Supriya Ghosh (Arcadia Concepts, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-854-3.ch013
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Abstract

We now switch to another crucial topic within a net-centric environment, and that is to address the digital storage needs within a global distributed environment. We address the need for greater storage; provide information as to how to determine storage requirements. We introduce the concept of storage life cycle management and discuss information management stages. A review of storage architecture is then provided which defines DAS, SAN and NAS. We go on to provide enterprise storage architecture design guidelines, and discuss the choices of centralized storage vs. distributed storage, vs. hybrid storage. We provide storage questions to consider for the enterprise and the net-centric challenges that lie ahead. We also discuss the people and processes and the dependency on network and communications.
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Chapter Content

As you explore Chapter 13, it will cover the following topics:

  • The Need for Greater Data Storage

  • Determining Storage Requirements

  • Storage Life Cycle Management

  • Storage Architecture Review

  • Enterprise Storage Architecture Design

  • Enterprise Storage Management Activities

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The Need For Greater Data Storage

Within the digital information enterprise of today and tomorrow, we have identified one challenge that is inherent to the growth of this industry. This challenge is to be able to store and manage increasing volumes of data. This is true for all of our government and corporate environments, including government contractors and commercial vendors. An enterprise storage strategy is a critical piece that needs to be addressed as part of the net-centric vision of the future for our military and civilian market.

Storage needs for the volume of data keeps increasing exponentially as we march forward toward our future information society. Industry experts report that storage needs have been increasing between 30 percent and 50 percent annually for the past two decades. This trend does not seem to be abating and probably will only soar as the size of multimedia data and file types increase by leaps and bounds. However, it is true that storage costs for digital storage and archiving is also decreasing dramatically, as hardware resources are able to contain more massive amounts of data. This is probably the reason why it has not occurred to us to do anything about this storage challenge – and so the problem seems to be resolving by itself.

We note that within the industry, no one is really caring about actual figures in storage volume, which may be in gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes. What they are realizing is that the real challenge isn’t really in storing the massive amounts of data. The real problem lies in managing that data, information, and knowledge across the enterprise. The entire information technology industry is working with business customers to figure out difficult issues such as how do we deal with storage management within business facilities, how do business customers have access to the data they have, how can they secure their data, and how can they backup their data for the future.

We all know that in the case of digital files, duplicate data is a huge issue since everyone wants to save their information multiple times. Individual users may keep multiple copies of a particular file in various stages of development. These files are also being shared with other staff members via e-mail, which in turn also automatically saves each version of the file. Unbeknownst to anyone, there can be dozens of copies of the exact same file being backed up every night for users at different locations. Now if we multiply this process across all of us across the globe, you are able to imagine how big this problem becomes.

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