Automated Disaster Recovery, Storage Pooling

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-08-02 Print this article Print


Automated disaster recovery: Reconnecting data stores with systems and getting those systems back up and running after a power outage is a bear that can take some systems days. Whereas in the past this process was done manually, the software now available is smart enough to get large portions of a virtualized system back online much faster and with less effort, so enterprises are checking this out very closely.

Virtualization is not just about cost reduction. It also helps improve application quality of service by enabling applications to scale up or scale out on demand, increasing application uptime and achieving a level of agility that is impossible in the physical world. In fact, the ability to have automated, fully tested disaster recovery is one of the key drivers for many organizations to virtualize their most important applications.

Dell EqualLogic, EMC Data Domain, Hewlett-Packard and VMware are a few of the large vendors that offer this.

Storage pooling: Pooling is an approach to storage virtualization that delineates specific areas of the storage system to be dedicated to specific data flows to enable more efficient multitenant service deployments, for example.

"Storage pooling can be set up as to disk type, where capacity can be in either 1TB or 2TB drives in separate pools," Marketing Manager Jay Kramer, formerly of Sepaton, told eWEEK. "Customers might want to implement a pool based on WORM [write once, read many] storage technology, or for encrypted data, for example."

Virtualized storage systems break files into chunks of data that are dispersed into numerous data center or storage locations, and reassemble them on demand. Keeping data file chunks closer together in pools is said to provide faster reassembly of file chunks.

Two key points turn up time and time again in conversations, especially involving cloud storage services: If you keep the data as close to processors as possible, and keep data chunks as close together as possible, you invariably end up with notable performance gains.

Isilon-which specializes in large, clustered systems-and Sepaton are two of the early vendors shipping smart-pooling storage systems.

Improved manageability of cloud storage: As different vendors clamor to be part of the cloud, unified management of the entire technology stack is critical. Whether public or private, tying together the different infrastructure layers-including applications, VMs, systems, networks and storage-with a comprehensive set of management tools reduces complexity by providing end-to-end service visibility, performance monitoring and automated provisioning.

All the major storage vendors, as well as a spate of newbie firms with fresh perspectives, are coming up with new software packages that are easier to set up and deploy, compared with only a year or so ago.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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