Consolidating your data onto a centralized SAN-based storage pool enables some interesting possibilities that were not available before. Without even factoring in the business benefits from cost savings and improved availability, utilization and reduced management costs, we find that consolidating data onto intelligent storage networks enables new ways to look at the data you store.
The storage industry is feverishly working on new tools to let you:
1. Integrate network traffic and storage traffic.
2. Monitor and report on the age and type of data that your company is storing.
3. Look inside all the documents stored in your SAN, and use the "metadata" it collects to let you use business intelligence software to gain a better understanding of what you are storing and what benefits can be derived from it.
4. Provide indexing and search capabilities for all the data in your storage network, no matter where is resides.
5. Analyze data traffic flow through the storage network, and automatically tune the data path.
6. Monitor and dynamically tune application I/O performance.
7. Use storage policies that will look at the "life cycle" of the data you store, and allow you to set policies in place that invokes Hierarchical storage manager (HSM) software to dynamically migrate data to the storage class that best suites it.
8. Provide Service Level Agreements to your end use customers, based on cost of stored data per MB, depending on the application requirements.
Imagine being to provide business policies for your data and application with those polices enforced automatically by the intelligent SAN network. Your data gets placed on the "file based" (NAS) or "block-based (SAN) storage based on the characteristics of the data and the price of the storage used to store it. A true automated tiered SLA.Consolidating your data onto network based storage, with the proper tools, enables you to not only store your data more efficiently but also let's you discover the business advantages that leveraging your stored data brings you.
This was first published in March 2003