More for Less

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The recession has forced enterprises to look at their storage infrastructure

and focus on reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. Customers have been

careful with their storage spending and are looking at solutions which will help

them effectively utilize their storage resources. The average storage

utilization levels in the industry, typically hover in the range of 35-40%,

which means that there is significant headroom to get more out of the installed

capacity without increasing the IT spend. With technologies like de-duplication,

flexible clones and thin provisioning, enterprises are improving the utilization

levels to 65-70%, thereby giving them the ability to achieve 'more with less'.


The Recession Affect

The recessionary period accentuated the significance of storage and

protection of data across businesses, and at a lower price point than ever

before. It was required to reduce the cost per GB of storage. With businesses

having to trim IT spends and provide better SLAs to business units, a shift was

seen from the traditional approaches of storage procurement. Increasingly,

organizations are deploying unified storage with support for NAS, FC & ISCSI on

the same box. There was a heightened need to squeeze more out of the same box

than ever before, leading to extensive deployment of technology like

de-duplication, thin and dynamic provisioning and archival solution. With

storage becoming more complex, it is now, more than ever, being seen as a

separate vertical within IT departments alongside network and systems.

Expert Panel

Surajit Sen, director, channel marketing and

alliances, India, NetApp

Vivekanand Venugopal, vice president & general manager, India, HDS

Sumit Mukhija, national sales manager, India and SAARC, Cisco

Rajesh Thakur, associate vice president, India business, HCL

Abhilesh Guleria, country head, ITPF, India, NEC

EVS Chakravarthy, CEO, YOU Broadband & Cable India

Even with an early recovery, the pressure on IT to deliver at a lower cost

will continue. In the coming years, the industry will see an increase in the

adoption of x86 virtualization in India. Enterprises of all sizes are expected

to move away from JBOD to network storage. In the future, the cost of useable

storage per GB will be driven down further by deployment of hierarchical



Hot Trends

Data center virtualization:
Virtualization is a critical enabler of the

dynamic data center of tomorrow. In 2009, the industry saw a trend towards lower

cost modular storage that scaled out, through switch technologies like Ethernet

or RapidIO. The shortcoming of scale-out modular storage is the inability to

scale up.In 2010, experts believe that the demand for storage systems, that have

both the ability to scale-up as well as scale-out depending on performance and

capacity requirements will grow.

Cloud storage: Cloud computing is often used as a metaphor for the

Internet. Cloud storage serves to mask the complexity of IT infrastructure and

enables access to storage capacity as a 'pay as you grow' service.

Security: IT managers must strike a balance between mitigating

security risks and delivering the best infrastructure in terms of throughput,

availability, scalability, cost and complexity. Each organization must make its

own trade-off decisions based on its unique situation and the importance of its

data. In 2010, IT managers are planning storage investments or the use of third

party services will need to take into account key priorities like data

confidentiality, privacy, sanitization/eradication and security.


Ethernet storage: With Ethernet reaching the speeds of 10 Gbps, it has

become a viable storage networking medium for data centers. Fiber channel over

Ethernet (FCoE) is an encapsulation of fiber channel frames over Ethernet

networks. It allows organizations to consolidate FC storage networks with

existing LAN and data traffic over a unified Ethernet network. FCoE, complement

advances in server and storage virtualization to enable increased data center

efficiency. The ubiquitous presence of Ethernet networks and economies of scale

would ensure wide adoption by the industry at a fraction of the cost of fiber


Green storage: The real solution and offering for a green data center

requires an absolute rethinking of the data center. This ranges from the design

of the buildings and cooling systems they contain, to the extensive use of

virtualization to increased server utilization. Also, the use of energy

efficient equipment, to power supplies to smart, power managed processors. Green

network storage solutions range from the use of features like data

de-duplication technology, thin provisioning and dynamic provisioning which

reduce the required storage at any given point by conserving energy. Also

innovations at disk level such as low powered SATA drives, coupled with features

like drive spin down from OEMs like EMC provide a significant reduction in power

consumption. SSD HDD is now becoming mainstream with significant number of IT

vendors offering the same.

Improved Storage Services

Today, data centers are required to provide better responsiveness, energy

efficiency, and performance than ever before, often with lower budgets and a

shortage of qualified staff. This is an enormously difficult challenge because

it requires data center managers to evaluate and address each of these factors

across multiple technology components such as applications, compute platform,

network infrastructure, and storage systems to create a comprehensive solution.

Tips for CTOs

  • Make sure the solution deliver consistently high level of storage area

    network (SAN) performance and availability, and supports growing

    information management needs
  • Optimize SAN infrastructure into a secure, manageable solution that

    supports business continuance and disaster recovery for intelligent

    storage fabric applications
  • Speed up the identification and resolution of SAN issues after the

    initial deployment, and help ensure optimal performance in a dynamic

  • The recent recessionary period accentuated the significance of storage

    and protection of data across businesses, and even so at a lower price

    point than ever before
  • The data centers should provide better responsiveness, energy

    efficiency, and performance than ever before, often with lower budgets and

    a shortage of qualified staff

All levels of data center functionality must be addressed and included in the

master architecture plan. Data center managers must evaluate current designs to

determine how to best virtualize and consolidate applications, servers, storage,

and switching functions, while placing a continuing emphasis on maintaining a

dynamic, flexible, and efficient data center environment.

Storage area networking, particularly switch technology, has seen numerous

changes in the recent years. Specifically, switches have necessarily become more

complex to match increasing fabric functionality requirements. The goal of

storage services and support is to promote customer success with storage



3G and WiMax

The number of broadband connections will increase considerably with the

entry of 3G and WiMax. However, like any new technology, it will be some time

before India will see a mass adoption of these technologies. With broadband

Internet becoming easily accessible, content will become the king, and it will

all be driven from the Internet. This will fuel the demand for network storage

from service providers and Internet start-up companies. The proliferation of web

2.0-which has enhanced social content sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter,

etc-is already being seen. The availability of high speed connectivity will

increase the usage of these sites which in turn will drive storage volumes since

this data has to be available on the cloud.

Another key driver that will increase storage deployments with the advent of

high speed access technologies is video streaming.

The Road Ahead

The emergence of high performance network attached storage (NAS) systems

from vendors can significantly change user cost dynamics. Centralized NAS can

help drive down costs of power, cooling, and data center floor space.


Given the current economic situation, many enterprises have become

conservative and are reluctant to spend. Change doesn't happen just because of a

great technology. Change happens because of the clarity of vision to see storage

technology as a change agent for business improvement and have the leadership

skills to apply new technologies to real business problems.

Vendors are focusing on enabling IT organizations to better align their

infrastructure to their business objectives, through technologies such as

storage virtualization, dynamic tiered storage, dynamic provisioning, and

gaining control and governance over their unstructured data environments.

Akhilesh Shukla