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Vol. 7 No. 8 October 2008

Thin (or chubby) provisioning catching on

A FLURRY OF THIN-PROVISIONING launches from major vendors in the last year brought the technology into the mainstream, but questions remain about who is best served and the best method for implementing it. To recap, Hitachi Data Systems began offering what it calls dynamic provisioning in its Universal Storage Platform V (USP V) systems last November. EMC brought out virtual provisioning on its high-end Symmetrix platform in January and added it to midrange Clariion systems in July. IBM rolled out its Space Efficient Virtual Disks on its SAN Volume Controller virtualization appliance in June. With all of these different names for thin provisioning, about the only thing you can expect vendors to agree on is that customers are looking for the feature first made popular by smaller vendors such as 3PAR and Compellent. But not all customers are asking for it. "Thin provisioning's becoming a standard feature, just like all RAID levels, snaps and replication," says Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO Group in ...

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Features in this issue

  • Are solid-state disks ready for the enterprise?

  • Green spin cycle

  • Second-generation CDP

    Continuous data protection (CDP) received lots of attention but garnered few takers as a standalone product. Since then, the technology has been incorporated into data protection products and its role is now likely to expand. In addition, rapid data growth and shrinking backup windows are two of the trends that support the increased adoption of CDP.

  • Solid-state distinctions emerge

  • Economy and capacity at odds

    With fewer bucks in the budget, storage managers are facing some constraints in dealing with growing storage capacities. But, according to Storage magazine's Purchasing Intentions survey, they're responding by earmarking some of those dollars to newer technologies like data deduplication that will help them cope with burgeoning data stores.

  • The green storage gap

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Storage departments are trying energy-saving technologies, but measuring ROI is still a challenge. Some storage administrators are plugging vendor-supplied product power consumption numbers into so-called green calculators, but it's no easy task as there are inconsistencies in how each vendor presents its product's power requirements.

  • Storage for high-performance computing

    by  Deni Connor

    The storage and server cluster installed at The University of Texas at Austin is a lesson in how to do high-performance computing (HPC). Storage requirements for HPC go beyond massive capacity and include the use of high-performance file systems.

  • Ask the Experts

    Where and when should we use data dedupe for remote-office backups?

Columns in this issue

  • Best Practices: Why you can't go it alone

    by  Ashish Nadkarni

    Most IT departments are split into islands of expertise, like storage, servers and networks. But the time is coming when those disparate groups will have to learn to work together. Network consolidation is just one of the technologies forcing storage pros to build stronger interdisciplinary IT teams.