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Consider integrated management with your low-cost primary storage

It has been said that primary storage is a relatively expensive resource that should be managed intensively. There is reason to believe that it may eventually become so abundant and inexpensive that users should essentially have all they want. What is the impact of this on:

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1)Operating system design
2)Storage management strategies
3)User application design?
There is no question that the cost of disk continues to decline. But, along with that is a significant boost in emphasis on the integrated management features that come with the array, which I think will start to be an ever-growing part of the array cost going forward. So, what that essentially means is that customers will increasingly need to evaluate storage system vendors on which integrated management features they provide, and how these management tools work with existing storage management products that customers already have in place. It will continue to have a huge impact on the storage management strategies - because essentially customers will still need to create a jigsaw puzzle approach to make sure all storage management pieces fit together.

As for the operating system design, this is where the battle between vendors will start to heat up. There are two avenues: OS vendors can work with storage vendors to provide compatible functionality, or they can compete with their own set of features. Customers might consider asking their preferred storage vendors how they plan to work with OS vendors going forward. I think there will be a significant fight for functionality between both OS and storage vendors.

As far as user application design, there is some thought that the storage vendors' new API standard based on Common Information Model (CIM) will allow application designers to see directly into the storage environment. You should stay tuned on this, since the standards initiative is still very much a work in progress.

This was first published in January 2003

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