CrossNodes Briefing: Network Storage Page 3
Extending the Network
IP storage represents a relatively new class of storage subsystem. It uses available disk technology that communicates via an IP address. This is a new implementation, but several vendors have rushed products to market. In the near future, observers expect vendors to blend IP storage with NAS and SAN subsystems.
The approach offers several benefits, including the fact that it is not limited by physical configuration. However, it will require host-processing power, and questions remain on the speed.
IT managers may feel caught. Promising storage technologies will take time to develop standards. The lower cost, network attached and directly attached subsystems will only provide immediate relief. Some, as a result, use storage service providers. These companies essentially offer on-line storage and data management. Although IT managers express concern over this type of arrangement, it does offer a solution that may make financial sense.
As the demand for storage explodes, the search for storage solutions will continue. However, users frequently focus on the initial cost of storage subsystems without considering implementation and on-going forget to calculate the total cost of introducing new storage technology and expanding existing storage. At the very least, a change in storage will impact backup systems. Larger SANs systems require independent administration software and personnel to configure and maintain the devices.
In addition, as storage systems expand, the task of securing the subsystems against intruders and ensuring reliable access becomes more complex. IT managers can expect improved security and management utilities as this market grows.