With spiraling capacities the norm, managing storage systems has become a challenging task. Traditional SRM tools are often adept on keeping tabs on the state of your storage infrastructure, but more focused applications are becoming increasingly available. Storage virtualization also promises to ease storage management and improve disk usage, but there are inherent issues that need to be fully understood before embarking on a virtualization project.
Traditional methods of operational data protection such as RAID tend to be complex and difficult to configure and manage, but some storage vendors are offering compelling alternatives. In this track, we'll also examine power conservation for storage systems, a new requisite for most storage shops struggling to balance increased capacity and soaring energy costs.
Downloads included in this track: (click title to download slides)
Speaker: Jeff Byrne, Senior Analyst and Consultant, Taneja Group
Description: Virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) bring end users many potential benefits, including increased user mobility and flexibility, higher levels of security, and reduced administrative and maintenance costs. While the foundational computing and networking technologies are now in place to support virtual desktop infrastructures, the performance and provisioning of storage remains a major challenge to deploying an effective VDI. Traditional approaches to storage in a virtualized environment – whether networked or direct attached – tend to suffer from a number of problems, including low capacity utilization, poor performance and slow and complex provisioning. Such issues can reduce service levels for desktop applications and prevent VDI installations from scaling beyond a small number of users.
This session will outline major storage challenges in VDI environments and discuss approaches to overcome them, including a set of requirements for VDI-optimized storage. You'll also get several examples of vendor solutions that can help end users to meet these requirements.
The Rise of Primary Storage Optimization
Speaker: Eric Burgener, Senior Analyst, Taneja Group
Description: Data reduction technologies like data de-duplication and single instancing are really starting to take hold in the industry, with recent analyst surveys indicating strong purchase intent over the next 12 months. To date, these technologies have only addressed secondary or off-line storage (primarily backups) because they typically have not offered the performance necessary to be used against primary, on-line applications. Over the last twelve months, newer technologies have emerged that offer high performance, in-line data reduction sufficient for use with primary storage and on-line applications.
The data reduction market is now splitting into "primary storage optimization" and "secondary storage optimization." The break out session will discuss the emerging primary storage optimization technologies and the value propositions it offers to end users, identifying the criteria necessary for primary storage optimization offerings, introduce the vendors playing in this space, and discuss the pros and cons of the different architectures and approaches to primary storage optimization.
Clustered Storage -- From SMB, to Scientific, to Social Networking and Web 2.0
Speaker: Greg Schulz, Founder and Senior Analyst, StorageIO
Description: The growth of structured and unstructured data continues at an explosive rate in most environments resulting in a constantly expanding data footprint requiring data and storage management resources. Similarly, the relative ease of use of NFS and Windows CIFS file sharing based storage, also known as Network Attached Storage (NAS), has led to a proliferation of NAS and Windows file servers which are not all that different from how the ease of use of personal computers (PCs) resulted in desktop and server sprawl.
With the focus of many IT organizations today to do more with less, or, do more with what you have, clustered storage and clustered file serving have become a popular option to support modular, scalable and flexible growth. Clustered storage including clustered file serving, grid and web 2.0 based storage solutions are no longer confined to the specific high performance scientific applications they are commonly associated. Clustered storage serving is commonly being deployed to support a wide diversity of applications including commercial, entertainment or media, Web 2.0 and social networking along with grid, cloud and traditional scientific needs.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Virtualization -- In One Hour
Speaker: Stephen Foskett, Director of Data Practice, Contoural
Description: While virtualization is still a burgeoning technology for storage, the merits are many. With an understanding the benefits and drawbacks of virtualization, you can bring many new capabilities to your storage environment. This session will provide the answers to many of the virtualization questions swirling in storage today.
During this session you will hear how virtualization has progressed from vaporware to actual products storage managers are using to centralize data, add flexibility, and change the economics of storage.
The Hidden Storage "Gotchas" of Server Virtualization and How to Avoid Them
Speaker: Marc Staimer, President and CDS, Dragon Slayer Consulting
Description: Server virtualization implementations are booming. The coming together of multicore x86 processors and server virtualization has made consolidation of workloads running on underutilized servers, increasingly attractive. And while server consolidation promises to reduce floor space and power/cooling requirements, it also creates unexpected new storage challenges as well. Storage and SAN implementations that work well with physical servers often break down and do not work well at all when those servers are virtualized.
This was first published in October 2008