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Vol. 5 No. 12 February 2007

Automated tiering awaits standards

One of the great, and as yet unfulfilled, storage needs is automatically moving data to different tiers of storage between different vendor products. How close is the industry to achieving this goal? "I don't think I'm supposed to talk about SMI-S [Storage Management Initiative Specification] release dates, so I'll just say that it's being worked on," says Edgar St. Pierre, co-chair of the Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) ILM Technical Workgroup. Other knowledgeable industry observers say the necessary additions to SMI-S to enable automated data tiering will probably be released in one to two years, and products based on those standards will follow soon after. SNIA is working to define three areas as standards: data classification service (to identify the data's requirements for service), data service-level management (to map data requirements to the capabilities of the different storage tiers) and data lifecycle management (because storage requirements for data may change over time as the data's value changes). ...

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Features in this issue

  • Integrating iSCSI and FC storage

    Mixing iSCSI with Fibre Channel (FC) allows you to make more efficient use of installed storage capacity, but marrying the two protocols isn't without its challenges. Bringing iSCSI into existing FC SANs raises integration issues and leads to a somewhat more complex storage infrastructure that requires IP and FC knowledge, as well as the ability to manage and troubleshoot a multiprotocol storage environment.

  • Removable disk vies with tape

  • Clustering ERP apps

    For mission-critical apps, availability is the key. Clustering those applications can ensure they stay up and running, but clustering often conjures up images of complex technologies and an environment that's fragile and complex. Still, for most companies, the benefits of clustering are profound enough to mitigate its risks.

  • Protect laptop data

    When your company's data is mobile, it's far more vulnerable, so protecting laptop data is critical. Protecting data on laptops is a two-pronged process: ensuring the data is always available using backup, and securing data from prying eyes through encryption.

Columns in this issue

  • Classified data: For your eyes only

    Classified data: For your eyes only

  • Are you taking the iSCSI plunge?

    iSCSI has grown from a theoretical standard into a real technology with real storage products. Although once considered by many to be a Fibre Channel killer, iSCSI has gained a substantial foothold without necessarily displacing Fibre Channel. Companies of all sizes are taking the plunge, and the iSCSI juggernaut appears to be unstoppable.

  • Latest technological innovations coming from Europe

    Storage Bin: If you want to know where the latest technological innovations are coming from, go to Europe.

  • From worm to worst

    by  Stephen Foskett

    Everyone thinks about online data in the same way: You write it, read it, rewrite it and keep it forever. But many organizations have far more data that's written once, read a few times and kept alive forever. You might say this bulk data is "write once, read several times" (WORST), and it can bloat your storage environment.

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