Storage outlook '09: Looking toward the clouds

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center storage admin Michael Passe is evaluating EMC's Atmos for cheap, dense archival storage.

Michael Passe is the storage architect at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The hospital eliminated tape this year with a deployment of Data Domain Inc.'s data deduplication hardware, and is turning its sights to archive and ultra-dense, commodity-based storage designed by EMC Corp. for the cloud in 2009.

SearchStorage: First, a look back at 2008. What was your biggest storage project that was completed this year? What problem did it solve for you? What do you wish had gone differently?

Passe: That was the installation of Data Domain to replace tape completely in our environment. This allowed us to prepare to retire a large STK [StorageTek, now owned by Sun Microsystems Inc.] PowderHorn library and free up data center space and, at the same time, reduce operational inefficiencies in using tape in our environment. It also provided us with offsite backup images for DR [disaster recovery] due to the replication technology built into the device. No more tapes in trucks, and it definitely gave us security improvement without having to use encryption. We bought two [Data Domain] DD580s and later two DD690s. I wish the DD690 box had been available at the time we bought the DD580 because it has much greater bandwidth and processing power.

SearchStorage: What effect will the global economic climate have on your storage planning for 2009?

Passe: Our storage planning for 2009 is about the same as 2008, so there has been no downturn in our spending or plans other than that I can scratch my operational line item for media replacement and use it for other things.

SearchStorage: What's your most important storage project for 2009?

Passe: Investigation and implementation of new backup software to replace [Symantec Corp.'s] [Veritas] NetBackup.

SearchStorage: What storage technologies are you evaluating for 2009?

Passe: EMC Atmos cloud storage for long-term archive. We have a target for under $1 per GB storage for that.

SearchStorage: What storage market story did you follow with the most interest this year?

Passe: Atmos/Maui/Hulk ... It's going to be an interesting 18 months to see what happens.

SearchStorage: What would you like to see happen in the storage market in 2009?

Passe: I'd like the big guys to bundle everything into arrays rather than nickel and dime us.

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