HSM Challenges

By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2004-06-29 Print this article Print

Considering the growth these days of high-speed wireless Internet access, intelligent personal HSM solutions would be able to automatically contact a home PC or server to locate and quickly download a previously migrated file. Like any other HSM, a personal HSM would benefit users since it would clean up expensive, highly limited portable storage and transfer data that is unlikely to be accessed to an external computer.
But such a solution does face some challenges. First, while HSM has been a mainstay in mainframe environments for decades, only now—with the monstrous marketing push of ILM (information lifecycle management) from storage vendors—has HSM really become fashionable in smaller open system environments.
Click here for a review of the new PeerStorage Array 100E by EqualLogic, a powerful, iSCSI-based storage system. Much like any other storage management solution on the market today, complexity is the biggest obstacle. One aspect of HSM that has always been difficult is the creation and optimization of migration policies. If you make a migration policy too aggressive, you will wind up wasting valuable time sending requests out to the HSM server and retrieving data from nearline storage. While a megabyte or two would be OK to retrieve on a broadband connection with a wireless device, doing retrieval operations for dozens of files could be more than a little painful, especially if you are with clients or late for a meeting. On the flip side, creating policies that are too laid-back makes the HSM system inefficient, which may force clients to buy additional portable storage to satisfy their needs. Another practical thing to consider is that a user would have to make sure his or her HSM server is always on and always connected to the Internet—two factors that could lead to security headaches. While the personal HSM may not be a solution we will see in the near future, Im sure that technologies will be developed to help mobile users optimize the storage of their devices. Check out eWEEK.coms Storage Center at http://storage.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and business storage hardware and software.


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