Article

Reaping value from storage networks

Gary Orenstein

IP Storage Networking


Chapter 5: Reaping value from storage networks

This book excerpt is from Chapter 5 of IP Storage Networking by Gary Orenstein, ISBN 0-321-15960-8, copyright 2003. All rights reserved. This chapter, titled "Reaping value from storage networks," is posted with permission from

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Addison-Wesley Professional.

The competitive business climate demands increasing data storage capabilities ranging from availability and recovery, to capacity management, to vendor aggregation. Multiprotocol storage networks serve all of these requirements in the form of block-based SANs or file-based NAS. As an enabling platform, networked storage naturally assumes a greater role in the cost and control of the overall storage infrastructure. This chapter covers the cost component of the storage networking layer by looking at the strategic reasons to combine both defensive and offensive measures and the value achieved by doing so across a common networking platform.

The Internet took the world by storm. The mad dash to put anything and everything digital onto a single network, whether for educational, government, commercial, or experimental reasons, led to data storage requirements and capacity not previously anticipated. Today, many commercial elements of the Internet have reworked business models and adjusted storage capacity requirements. Have you noticed all of the storage capacity restrictions on "free" Web site services, such as online photo sharing and Web-email boxes? Have you noticed how many times you are offered a chance to "upgrade" to the monthly fee option with more storage? Managing storage on the Internet, or for that matter, on any networked environment, includes capital and operational costs that hit the bottom line.

In industries where storage availability and protection drive revenue-generating businesses, the networked storage budget grows as a function of the overall operating budget. To harness these costs and drive ongoing returns from the investment, companies must broaden the metrics for measuring returns. This comes through merging defensive strategies like data protection with offensive strategies like platform consolidation.

This chapter includes sections on the following topics:

  • Balancing Offensive and Defensive Strategies
    • Risk and Total Cost of Ownership
  • Primary Defensive Strategies
    • Data Availability
    • Availability and Protection with Remote SAN Topologies
    • Data Availability and Remote Site Storage User Diagram
    • Budget Reduction and Human Capital Protection
  • Primary Offensive Strategies
    • Storage Agility through Scalable, Flexible SANs
    • Network Centralization
    • Platform consolidation
    • Common IP Network or Common Technology?
    • Multi-Layered Storage Fabrics
  • Measuring Returns
    • Cost Savings with Storage Area Networks
    • Defining Information Technology Goals
    • Tying Technology Capabilities with Business Processes
    • Storage Networking As Competitive Advantage

This chapter is posted in full as a pdf file. To continue reading, click here.


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