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