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Ask storage managers and their managers what users--from the CEO to the sales associates and summer interns--expect from their company's storage expenditures, and you'll get some obvious replies.
"For us, it is a simple answer: Our business wants to keep everything forever and they want us to retrieve it in two seconds, but they can't understand why we have to keep buying more storage," explains Barry Brunetto, VP of IS at Blount International, an industrial and power equipment company in Portland, OR.
Brunetto is exaggerating, but in a way that every storage pro can relate to. Dan Grosz, VP of IS at VIP Parts, Tires & Service in Lewiston, ME, sums up his firm's common business requests: "All the technical aspects are abstracted away and it simply comes down to cost and reliability [speed and downtime]."
Earlier this year, Grosz headed his company's efforts to find an iSCSI-based unit as its enterprise storage solution. When vendor shopping, Grosz compiled a list of criteria his business colleagues weren't really concerned with as long as the product allowed VIP to access data 24/7 without delay.
For his part, Grosz wanted a vendor that was on the VMware-compatibility list, had a track record of running clustered SQL servers in mission-critical applications and allowed for multiple RAID configurations (VIP uses RAID 50). Then
| he considered IO per second, scalability and the quality of storage management software included in the package. Eventually, Grosz purchased a 4.8TB (raw) iSCSI unit from EqualLogic.
This was first published in December 2007