Conserving bandwidth for primary storage

This xSP Insider focuses on conserving bandwidth when outsourcing your primary storage to a Storage Service Provider (SSP).

This is part two of the xSP Insider's focus on Storage Service Providers (SSPs). This edition discusses how to conserve bandwidth when outsourcing your primary storage.

Conserving bandwidth for primary storage--An emerging SSP model 

The expense of purchasing highly available bandwidth is one of the biggest reasons companies have been slow to adopt the Storage Service Provider (SSP) model for primary storage. Fortunately, today, many SSPs and storage vendors are offering alternatives that give companies the benefits of storage-on-demand, 24x7 monitoring, and world-class storage management without gouging their connectivity pocketbooks.

"Experience has shown that the early SSP models that use disks on a string to provide primary storage just don't work," said Kirby Wadsworth, cofounder and VP Marketing for Storability, a provider of automated storage assurance services. "Plugging remote disks into local servers is a solution fraught with latency, bandwidth, security, as well as control issues. In addition, high-speed fiber simply isn't available to many remote locations."

To address some of these problems, many SSPs have partnered with collocation facilities (IDCs) to provide fiber channel connections for hosted servers. "Delivering storage as a utility service within the collocation facility environment can work well," Wadsworth said. "However, the user has to be comfortable with a shared storage environment with its attendant issues of security and control."

Newer remote-management SSP models virtually eliminate bandwidth issues by managing storage located at the customer's site. "Using a 56KB line our highly-trained storage professionals can remotely monitor and manage a company's onsite storage 24x7. In addition, we work with storage vendors to install and service step-lease storage subsystems (storage on demand). So, as with an SSP, you only pay for the storage you're actually using as each disk is turned on-but at a much lower cost than leasing gigabytes per month from an SSP." Wadsworth says that for economically addressing offsite storage replication and backup requirements, look at Telcos: "Your Telco often will have the lowest overall cost of delivery, since they have bought and buried infrastructure, including network pipes to your building."

Linda Christie is a contributing editor based out of Tulsa, Okla.

For more information on SSPs and bandwidth:

  • View the white papers "The AssurENT Architecture" and "Storage Assurance - A New Class of Service" for more information on remote storage management.
  • Read "SSP availability: Finding strong bandwidth partners," a searchStorage tip by Linda Christie.
  • Check out "Speeding up your SSP connection," another searchStorage tip by Linda Christie.

Additional SSP resources:

  • Check out part one of this month's xSP Insider: SSPs offer a new way to manage your storage needs.
  • Visit searchxSP's sister site searchStorage.


This was first published in June 2001

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