Storage and Its Impact on Enterprise Viability, Part II Page 2 -

Storage and Its Impact on Enterprise Viability, Part II Page 2

Continued from Page 1

Vendors play a role in creating efficient and effective storage management practices

According to some industry experts, the single most helpful strategy that vendors can implement to help customers effectively manage storage is to offer complete solutions rather than the “erector set” projects so prevalent today.

“Setting up and configuring the data protection process must be simple — and the recovery process even simpler.”

John Joseph, EqualLogic

“Fewer components in a storage system means fewer components to manage — leading to better management,” says Joseph. He also points out that vendors need to provide enterprises with the necessary technology for building scalable storage grids that behave and that can be managed as single pools of storage.

Guilbert says storage vendors need to make sure that they are partnering with their customers, not just selling them a packaged, pre-set, universal solution. “Before selling a solution, storage vendors first need to make sure their customer understands that they [the customer] alone have the most to lose from a disaster and that they [the vendor] are committed to the process with sufficient executive buy-in — if not, deployments could falter, “says Guilbert.

Wittmer believes that storage vendors can help enterprises improve efficiency by helping them understand the appropriate solution for their application. “Organizing data into pools of storage allows IT managers to maximize their storage resources based on requirements for cost and performance.”

Traditionally, Wittmer continues, enterprises have stored all their data online on SCSI or Fibre Channel hard drives; however, by using ATA drives for fixed-content, non-transactional data, IT professionals can take advantage of higher capacities and lower costs.

Business viability dependant on sound business continuance plan

With competitive pressures from industry deregulation, many businesses are being judged on their business continuance plans more closely than ever before. And storage vendors are the folks in the best position to help IT planners better position themselves to recover quickly from an unplanned outage or from data corruption.

According to Joseph, one of things that storage vendors can do is provide IT managers with multiple layers of disaster recovery capabilities, combining synchronous mirroring with snapshot replication. For example, he says that synchronously mirroring a data-corrupting virus from an organization’s primary site to its secondary site will result in both sites failing; therefore, a more comprehensive solution such as snapshot replication is required to provide multiple layers of protection. “Most importantly,” says Joseph, “setting up and configuring the data protection process must be simple — and the recovery process even simpler.”

According to Guilbert, business continuance is based on two factors that storage vendors should ensure their customers understand: off-site data protection and data availability/access. He explains that at a bare minimum IT planners need to ensure that their data is protected at an off-site location — out of the building, in case of any common disaster like a fire, earthquake, or local power outage. “This can be out of city, out of region, or out of country, depending on the company’s budgets and resources,” says Guilbert.

The second basic factor is data and application availability. “Users have to be able to access the protected data in a timely manner, to ensure the disruptive event doesn’t cause a loss of productivity or revenue multiple times the length of the event — for example, from having to retrieve tapes and rebuild servers while users are waiting to work,” says Guilbert.

Page 3: Competency in Storage Management Critical

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