Technology Positioning Statement Report

2.3.3 Storage Management Systems

Description: Hardware and software to manage the bulk storage, backup and archiving of enterprise data. Hardware includes SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage).

Category: 2 - Data Management   Subcategory: 3 - Special Purpose Data Management
Old Category: none




Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Capacity; bandwidth; ease of administration; interoperability with all data sources; expandability; viability of media.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage:
Disk Hardware: The storage industry continues to ship capacity, but disk prices have declined to pennies per MB and all of the vendors are under severe revenue and profit pressures. Networked storage continues to drive mid- and high-end disk technology. The major switch vendors and host bus adapter (HBA) vendors, having successfully completed the gigabit transition, will ship 2 gigabit capability in volume this year and should settle on standards for 10 gigabit for both Fibre Channel (FC) and Ethernet this summer.

Given the renewed emphasis on business continuity, expect to see more vendors feature remote data copy, instant image and device fail over/auto-recovery. This will require either storage area networks (SAN)/network attached storage (NAS) appliances with full system awareness or more intelligence in the array controllers. Data security has become a major storage issue, especially as IP storage gains traction and the arrays themselves are now visible to the world; there is an emerging market for a wide range of encryption and data protection hardware and microcode products. There will be a contentious confluence of technology as database products offer data integrity features that run inside an intelligent disk array while security products attempt to encrypt data such that the array cannot be aware of its data contents.

To take advantage of all of these market forces, it is essential to implement networked storage, either SAN or NAS; and it is also essential to develop a strategy to relate hardware services cost to business value. Enterprises should consolidate storage and must accept policy-managed storage with exception-only handling by a centralized storage administration staff, or enterprise data requirements will not be able to be kept within budget.

Tape: LTO vs. super digital linear tape (SDLT) is still the major industry focus, though Sony has now GA’ed AIT3, which is very late to market. The three technologies are technologically similar; LTO packaging was designed to mimic DLT while the AIT is footprint driven and as such, smaller; all three technology groups have laid out aggressive, almost identical four generation evolutions. Neither LTO nor SDLT is going away.

As a tape user, keep archives within 2.9 generations of current technology — that means copying data forward periodically. If updates call three generations behind, support, hardware and software will be difficult to find and maintenance will be expensive and available only on best-efforts capability.

Software: Storage management is an overall strategy to create an infrastructure — a hospitable environment to run and manage the information needs of your business. Storage management software allows your storage administrators to be more effective by substituting automation for staff. Storage Area Management (SAM) software manages the interaction between applications, their storage and the connections between them and it provides centralized management across a storage domain, while supporting shared services to multiple server sites and active applications.

Functions of storage management include:

  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • capacity management and archiving
  • resource management

SC Usage: Currently network-based scheduled backups of servers are done on a daily basis using ArcServe’s NT Agent. Some servers have Open File Agent from ArcServe to backup open files. Desktop backup which can be initiated at the user’s discretion is supported via IBM's ADSTAR Distributed Storage Manager (ADSM) 3.0.

SC Application Impacts: Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 1.0 does not support data backups to NAS devices that are to be installed. This should be fixed in the next version of SPS.

Last Update: Valid Until:


Market Overview 2002: Storage Hardware, and Storage Management Software, Bob Zimmerman, Giga, 3/8/02 and 3/13/02.

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