Network Storage : Network Rug Sack

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The immense growth of data is creating a huge brouhaha in the storage

division. Enterprises are looking at newer ways to reduce the expenditure on

storage and vendors are coming out with better techniques to help them do the

same. Incidentally, after the roll out of 3G, the scenario will never be the

same again. Vendors have already started moving towards what is broadly called



Depending on business needs, every organization is finetuning its storage

strategy according to the industry segment in which it has a presence.

Therefore, network storage and continuity is one of the focus areas for CIOs.

Network storage has great potential for growth keeping in mind benefits such as

reduction in complexity, and total cost of operation. It also helps in

optimizing utilization of storage. Consolidation is another factor that has made

it big into the market, and convergence has played a key role in pulling down


Convergence in Consolidation

The merging of platforms has become a key area for both vendors and

operators. Unlike last year, when all was about SAN and NAS separately, the

focus has shifted to convergence. But are deployments really being made is a

million dollar question.


Storage consolidation has risen as a logical fallout of NAS and SAN

convergence. While SAN shares storage resources through a common network, NAS

shares files through an IP network.

Enterprises have started looking at NAS gateways which are connected to SAN

storage arrays in the backend via fibre network. NAS head can be a disk-less

system where all the LUNs which are created on the SAN box can be exported.

There has been storage consolidation at different levels helping organizations

improve their storage capacity planning. Storage consolidation leads to

companies having to support fewer storage devices, with fewer instances of

manual interventions being required. Over time, software functions promise

hands-off, policy-based, automated storage. Consolidated storage systems reduce

other indirect costs by taking up less space at facilities and improving data

access and distribution.

Convergence has led to better business processes.


Away from the Real

Apart from consolidation and convergence another vital tool that is driving

the storage market is 'virtualization'. This is another technology which has

come in quite handy in improving the utilization of assets, like servers. Most

customers had excess computing power in their data centers and were looking at

using virtualization to improve the utilization.

Server virtualization helps in running multiple software and applications

over a single hardware platform thus increasing the utilization of existing

hardware. This not only reduces the capex but also the opex, in terms of space,

power, cooling needs, etc. This would again lead to another expected area of

innovation in the storage industry, now popularly known as cloud computing.

Cloud computing will perhaps be the biggest trend in the coming two to three

years, believe industry experts.

Ironically, even at this time when the the enterprise segment is reeling

under economic crisis, firms dealing in storage have definitely not fared badly.

Perhaps the only reason being increased use of data. Be it mobile, FMCG or the

hospital industry, everywhere there is a burst of data. Things just might see a

rapid change once 3G comes out in full swing.

Experts panel

Rajesh Janey, VP, Enterprise Business, India & SAARC, EMC

Hanif Sohrab
, head, ITSM, HCL Comnet

Manoj Suvarna, country head, Storage Works Division, HP

Ramachandran Narayanaswamy
, VP & head, Storage and Servers Industry,


Surajit Sen, director, Channels, Alliances & Market, NetApp

Sumit Mukhija, national sales manager, Datacenter, Cisco India &

Ramkaran Rudravaram, GM, Technology Services, Sify Technologies

Anand Naik
, director, Systems Engineering, Symantec Corporation

Amol Pathak
, global head, Network Storage, Tech Mahindra

Rajeev Singhal, CIO, Datacentres, Reliance Communications

Abhijit Talwalkar
, president and CEO, LSI Corporation

The 3G Wave

The wave has been around for over a year, though 3G has not materialized so

far in India. Telecom operators are gearing up for the deployment of

technologies like 3G and WiMax by bolstering their IT infrastructure, especially

their storage components.

Streaming videos, MMS, gaming services and other data intensive applications

will impose greater storage requirements on telecom providers. Service levels

will also create a demand for high-performance tiered storage solutions.


As more services are added, the billing operations will also increase in

complexity. ILM allows operators to consolidate their storage into a single

tiered storage infrastructure.

Few Modern Trends

Apart from the major changes there have been quite a few smaller areas of

play. Here are few of the most noticeable trends:

Data De-duplication: Data de-duplication will allow users to optimize and

create bandwidth-friendly backup and recovery solutions. De-duplication can

reduce network bandwidth and backup storage by a factor of 300. The original

file is saved and backed up just once to a central server. De-duplication also

helps in checking for common blocks across all files and across the entire user

data considered for backup. The best reason an enterprise might need this is

because it also helps in driving down the cost by a large measure.


IP-based Storage Networking: IP has made strong inroads into storage

networking, first through iSCSI and then through FCoE. Customers can now

potentially have a common IP based network to service all their networking

requirements. With performance getting closer to SAN storage, while still

maintaining all the manageability, and recoverability features, they make an

ideal choice for most requirements.


  • Data is doubling every two years (161 Exabytes in 2007), but with only

    35% growth in business (as per UC Berkeley)
  • Increasing dependency of business processes on IT
  • File copy sharing
  • The rise of the Internet and network-based messaging
  • Rising security concerns
  • Meeting stringent compliance and service level requirements
  • Managing growth and heterogeneous environment
  • New business applications support
  • Maintaining storage back up
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Investment protection

FCoE (Fiber Channel over Ethernet): FCoE maps fiber channel natively over

Ethernet while being independent of the Ethernet forwarding scheme. This allows

a seamless integration with existing fiber channel networks and management



Green Storage: Each component of a storage system has power and cooling

requirements which can be affected by rotational speed of disks and use of

appropriate RAID levels. Cost benefits in power and cooling can be a driver to

opt for Green storage.

The Coming Year

With the demand increasing day by day, the need of new storage

infrastructure is coming up. With new massive users of storage like oil and gas,

healthcare, retail and the manufacturing industry, the business of network

storage will definitely grow. Healthcare is under pressure to implement stricter

regulations like HIPPA/JCHAO which is compelling usage of a more sophisticated

data management systems and corresponding storage use. And last but not the

least, with 3G coming into the picture the data burst would invariably happen


Primary growth drivers would still be the ongoing data explosion, regulatory

compliance and innovative solutions. Apart from that, the other areas of growth

is visualized by the SMB segment, particularly in India. Storage is a largely

untapped market in this segment.

Sunny Sen