There is a tendency among storage administrators to view an enterprise's storage as a single large system. However, according to consultants at CNT, a provider of SAN equipment and services, there are advantages to modularizing storage in the planning and purchasing stages. The result is a concept CNT calls the "Managed Unit Of Storage" (MUOS).
MUOS involves breaking an enterprise's storage needs into standardized units, each providing a certain amount of storage. The unit includes the servers, disks and all the other equipment and software needed to handle the storage. The configuration includes centrally managed disk and tape storage, redundant paths between sever and storage, local/remote backup to tape and application server independent backup.
Essentially, once the managed unit of storage is configured, the configuration is used over and over again to meet the enterprise's need for storage. The benefits, according to CNT, include pre-determined growth and upgrade paths, pre-determined costs, a highly reliable storage infrastructure, reduced planning and installation time and a more manageable storage environment.
A white paper describing the concept is available from CNT at: www.cnt.com/literature/documents/pl557.pdf.
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.