How to better connect storage to the business


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Because of the large number of consumers of SOI-provided services and the desire to leverage the most effective technology options available, adherence to standards is another key attribute. A proprietary solution doesn't fit with the demands for flexibility.

The range of technology components required to fully realize an SOI are evolving at differing rates. Within the IT infrastructure, the three basic components are networks, servers and storage. Networking can be considered the ubiquitous element upon which everything else depends. Bandwidth and reliability are enabling factors and, for the most part, networking technology has evolved to expand predictably on a demand basis. In the server realm, with the adoption of virtualization and tools to better manage virtualized environments, technology is maturing to a level needed to support SOI.

Storage lags servers and networks in its ability to offer an entirely resource-based set of services. One reason is that once a unit of data is moved or processed in a network or server it can be "forgotten"; with storage, data is persistent and must be managed for years. A services-based approach to storage needs to be multidimensional and encompass performance, availability, data protection, data movement and migration, and data retention.

In the manufacturing supply chain, the primary goal is to achieve a quicker time to market by eliminating nonvalue-add functions, cutting lead times and improving

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communications. The result has been high quality and lower costs. In IT, and particularly in storage, we can learn a lot by emulating these concepts.

This was first published in November 2006

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