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May 2013 Vol. 12 No. 3

Storage Holy Grail: End bifurcated storage infrastructure management

Storage virtualization and other storage "uber-controllers" are a step toward better storage infrastructure management, but it's still not an integrated process. In an earlier column, I talked about the evolution of storage infrastructure management and the various ways storage services were being aggregated to simplify their selective application to specific data assets and workloads. The mainstream approach to managing storage infrastructure has been far from elegant or economical. First, vendors have been evolving their array's controller boards into full-fledged general-purpose servers, often running a recognizable OS as well as storage-specific applications ranging from proprietary file systems and RAID software to more exotic thin-provisioning or deduplication algorithms. The result is a "storage-as-appliance" model that has the advantage of creating sleek, self-contained islands of storage, each managed individually using its own element management software, but with the downside of making storage more difficult to manage...

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