The 2009 Mantra: At All Costs, Reduce Costs
The 2009 IT Mantra: At All Costs, Reduce Costs
All data roads eventually lead to some kind of storage, whether it be on 15K RPM Fibre Channel disks, a slower-running SATA (Serial ATA) drive, or a tape cartridge stored in an Iron Mountain vault. Thus, efficient data storage is a key factor in a well-run enterprise IT operation.
Redundant data is the enemy; it is costly, wastes energy and generally slows storage I/O, traditionally the major bottleneck of storage.
Data deduplication -- not a new idea but one which has evolved into its own market in the last few years -- eliminates redundant data from a disk storage device in order to lower storage space requirements. In turn, this lowers data center power and cooling costs and lessens the amount of carbon dioxide produced to generate power to run the hardware.
"Data deduplication is no longer a fad," Beth White, Data Domain's vice president of marketing, told eWEEK. " 'Dedupe' is now a proven technology. We're starting to see these very large organizations adopt dedupe in volume and even as a standard. We see this as continuing to develop."
Thin provisioning is also gaining stature in this drive to new efficiencies. This is a method of storage resource management and virtualization that lets IT administrators limit the allocation of actual physical storage to what applications immediately need. It enables the automatic addition of capacity on demand up to pre-set limits so that IT departments can avoid buying and managing excessive amounts of disk storage.
Simply deleting old files that are no longer necessary and/or legally required is another way to add efficiency, because it adds immediate capacity.
"A lot of people haven't embraced a 'cleaning up' approach for two reasons: One, things are going well and they don't want to be bothered with it -- they'll just keep everything. Two, there is really no way to integrate it into a movement," said Dave West, marketing vice-president of automated storage provider CommVault.
"You can identify the data and see that it's old, but what do you do with it? If it's not identified with a data movement technology, you haven't taken action -- all you've done is identify it."