The Automation of Storage Page 3
Can Tape Automation Effectively Supplement Rotating Storage?
When combined with software management tools such as hierarchical storage management, massive amounts of data can be accessed promptly by automated systems, which enables data-intensive applications like document processing to be both efficient and cost-sensitive. However, the big question is can tape automation effectively supplement rotating storage by boosting capacities, restraining cost, and enabling other tools such as virtualization?
"We believe that there is a role for many different types of media, including tape. Storage should be allocated using media that offers the appropriate combination of cost, accessibility, reliability, shelf life, etc.," says Lam. Automated systems that manage data on disk (from high-end arrays down to inexpensive JBOD), DVD, tape, etc. will enable customers to meet their business and regulatory requirements, according to Lam.
"There's an old saying from the late 1980s that's still true: 'Lack of management automation creates an artificial barrier to growth,'" says Dutch. She believes that a comprehensive set of management automation products that spans all storage mediums could efficiently and effectively restrain spiraling costs. Additionally, new technologies that virtualize the file system in addition to the underlying storage are on the horizon. Dutch says that while today they may seem quite revolutionary, they will eventually become widely deployed.
Providing the Foundation for Intelligent, Rules-based, Policy-driven Storage Management
Storage automation addresses the larger problem of managing storage without boundaries. Many industry experts believe that it will provide the foundation for intelligent, rules-based, and policy-driven storage management. They also believe it will be able to automatically discover storage resources as they are added to the infrastructure and intelligently configure those resources, allocate capacity, balance workloads, move data to the most appropriate storage, and manage backup and recovery.
Enterprise storage automation promises to deliver a comprehensive set of solutions that integrates all major areas of storage management, data availability, storage resource management, media, and SAN and NAS storage management.