Archive for the Tag Planning
Posted by richswain in Jan 04, 2010, under News
Welcome back from the holiday season! I am sure some of you worked through the holidays and hopefully most of you had time to spend time with friends and family the past few weeks. I have been doing some of both, IBM doesn’t shut down for the holidays but I was able to spend more time at home with my family just the same.
As we look forward to the first year of this decade, storage admins are facing new issues with conserving storage. The footprint is (and has been for some time) getting larger, we are keeping data longer, and everyone wants more space for less money without a performance penalty. I am sure you seeing similar issues and more in your own data centers, but what are storage vendors doing to help you solve these issues?
If you take a look at your storage plan today, does it match your business plan or a strategic plan? If your company has a strategic plan in place how can you look at that and gauge the storage plan? You may not have a plan in place today but that doesn’t have to stop you from looking 6 months ahead.
A couple of factors that can help you put a plan together.
1. Where is your data today? Clients are always looking to put the right data on the right system. Look for the benefits of both hardware (cache, processor, HBA, NICs) and software (snapshots, mirroring, data locking) to match a data type to the system. Does your Windows File server really need to run over the Fibre Channel SAN?
2. Is it on the right disk type or speed? Different disk types have different disk I/O measurements. Look at how your SATA vs FC vs SAS drives match the data set. Are you using high end disk for data that is hardly being used?
3. Can you be saving space by de-duping your data? We all multiple copies of the same files out there on storage. Why keep multiple copies of the same files/blocks if you can de-dupe that data on the storage system itself and free up storage for new data. Sales people love to sale new storage and help clients add on to their systems but you can extend the time to purchase by condensing the data you already have purchased.
4. How many systems are you running today? Can you consolidate those into a single platform? There are pros and cons of moving to a single platform, but instead of running three, think about running two? If you have multiple file servers, can you consolidate them on the N series system using its CIFS license? or Multi-store? With it on the storage side, you save money (AV agent license, backup license, OS license) and de-dupe the data so you don’t ‘need’ as much to begin with.
5. What is your backup/restore/retention schedule? Do you really need tape? It is 2010, people in 1980 were asking the same question and have been ever since. Tape still plays a big play in the data center today, but are you relying on it for restores? Whats your restore time? How reliable is the restore ?
There should be other parts of your plan but these questions should get you started. Take a different approach and interview other parts of IT like DB admins, developers even those network guys. Also different parts of the business, accountants, HR, Operations. You make get a better idea of their needs for the near future. Take the time to plan out the storage this year and hopefully it will save you not only time and money but a piece of mind as well