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Managing Storage as a Service
Still, is the concept of 'managing storage' as a service really a part of the fabric of storage? Fredrick points out that there are two areas of managing storage: The management of the physical storage, which is quickly becoming the enabler for utility computing, and storage content management.
Fredrick contends the physical management of storage will become part of the fabric of storage by introducing dynamic LUN management and alternate path data routing. In addition, he feels that these services are part of the pipes of the utility computing model. "As for content management, this is a service that will become a service that is offered to business line managers to better manage their IT resources," he says.
Many experts believe that storage will eventually become a service or utility with data ending up in remote vaults, managed at a central point, by a central group. "We will see a greater number of central vaults of data storage, " says Lauffin. However, he again brings up the issue of social acceptance. "On the way to those central vaults, there will be different generational perceptions standing in the way. Overcoming generational differences has traditionally been a 5-8 year cycle within our industry," he adds.
With all this talk about utility computing, another question arises and that is: Is the concept of utility computing a business style issue or a technical one? Although many people believe that it is more of a business style issue, others do not see it that way. "IT managers have always looked for ways to demonstrate the value they bring to an organization," says Fredrick. "Getting the businesses to buy into a differentiated delivery of IT services based on what they are wiling to pay is a new concept that needs to be accepted." Mussman disagrees and says that it will be easier to get the business side to buy into the concept of utility computing because the IT side will be concerned with losing their jobs if and when companies embrace storage as part of utility computing.