Intelligent storage network must be able to run Protocol Services to allow for efficient resource sharing across both open systems and mainframe environments, enabling improved data access and data sharing throughout the enterprise.
The advantage of putting all this functionality onto a multi-service director in the SAN network is that only the director can see all the hosts, disks and tapes, regardless of the vendor and their geographic location. This allows an organisation to consolidate services that it acquires from multiple vendors, saving money on software licences and simplifying storage management.
It will be vital that the storage network is capable of running Management Services which are interoperable with all of the storage network elements to improve network availability, avoid outages and reduce downtime, accelerate fault isolation and problem resolution and reduce management costs.
Remote Office Consolidation: The Future
With 75 per cent of an organisations’ data residing outside the corporate data centre, the promise of ILM is pretty useless unless it can address all company data. Remote Office Consolidation (ROC) is one such emerging initiative that combines technology, services and infrastructure leasing to deliver LAN-like performance to users in WAN-connected branches. This initiative takes on board and utilises many of the principles explained in this paper. For example, once data is fully back into the data centre, where there are the disciplines and expertise to manage the data, the process of virtualisation is the next step and the classification of data using principles similar to those used to classify mainframe data for SMS are applied. Data is then in a position to move towards the successful implementation of ILM. Once data is in one common environment, it is then well placed to utilise additional emerging technologies such as Grid and Utility Computing.
In spite of all the industry hype, virtualisation is NOT the definitive answer to all of today’s data storage problems. It is just one of a number of industry technology trends, including ILM and Intelligent Storage Networks, which will come together in 2006 and beyond, to address the real problems companies have with managing the growth, accessibility and regulatory compliance of huge volumes of data.
Today, storage networking vendors such as McDATA, are bringing to market products that will bring this intelligence to the storage network in a way which helps deliver the ILM promise. This can be seen via its new ROC solution that helps protect remote office data, reduce costs and provides LAN-like access to data from any location.