Storage Management: The Compliance Effect, Part 2 Page 2 -

Storage Management: The Compliance Effect, Part 2 Page 2

Making Life Easier

Another issue facing storage administrators is defining what current and emerging storage technologies will make satisfying regulatory requirements easier in the future. Jon Toor, director of product marketing at OnStor, says that today a large part of the regulatory issue is simply understanding the requirements themselves.

“Once that gets sorted out, attention will return to the more traditional IT concerns, such as which vendors offer solutions that are reliable, manageable, and affordable,” says Toor. He adds that when buyers are addressing the above three-mentioned concerns, they need to look at the attributes that each offers when evaluating compliance storage solutions:

Reliability: Data replication will be a key element of compliance, and that replication must be reliable and efficient. “Data will inevitably be replicated to both offsite locations and to local low-cost disk storage, and SAN-based replication — as opposed to LAN-based — will be the preferred technique,” says Toor. He also points out that moving data at the SAN level is a direct one-for-one copy technique that is inherently simpler and more efficient than LAN-based methods that impose significantly more overhead.

Manageable: Toor says that demands for compliance are not always going to result in IT headcount increases, so a useful solution must be easily managed. “If a solution requires a whole new management software suite, or requires a raft of professional services to manage, it may not be the right choice for most companies,” says Toor. He says that the ideal solution should integrate with existing software to minimize disruption, yet offer unique integration where appropriate.

Affordable: Although disk-based retention could significantly boost the overall cost of storage, Toor maintains it doesn’t have to. It’s simply a question of how it is implemented. “Single-vendor mirroring solutions have been costly in the past, but new low-cost SATA-based SAN arrays and simplified data management will cut the cost of data replication,” says Toor. He concludes by pointing out that these solutions will be so cost effective that data management cost reductions and productivity gains resulting from increased data availability may far outweigh the cost of the solution itself.

Even though all of these new compliance issues and regulations will probably make data retention just one more big headache in the ever-growing list of other big headaches that storage administrators face every day, the fact is organizations across the globe have been meeting compliance issues in one way or the other for quite some time — and have seemingly made it through the maze of confusion. My guess is that we can – and will – do the same.

» See All Articles by Columnist Leslie Wood

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