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Vol. 2 No. 4 June 2003

Consolidation: The hard truth

Has the storage consolidation parade rolled through your town yet? Storage vendors are in the front of the line, mustering a crowd with promises of a fast ROI, reduced TCO, simplified management and streamlined backup and recovery. Their pitch is downright seductive: Consolidate your direct-attached storage (DAS) into a giant, single logical pool of storage and then allocate and reallocate this capacity as needed with just a click of a mouse. It's a compelling pitch. And the promises are true, except for one thing--none of it is easy, fast or cheap. "It is getting easier, but there are still obstacles," says Scott Robinson, CTO, Datalink Corp., Chanhassen, MN, a storage consulting firm. And the hard-dollar savings don't come right away. To the contrary, it will likely cost much more at the outset: "You'll be buying a lot of new hardware and you have the whole cost of buying a network," he says. Still, the payoff from consolidation can be big if you carefully and patiently work through the obstacles. For example, most ...

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Features in this issue

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  • Copy basics

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    Snapshot and replication are important tools in building a foolproof disaster recovery plan. This article helps you pick the optimal solution that fits within your budget and is best suited for your company's individual backup needs.

  • The case for network smarts

    Let's face it: SANs as they currently exist only deliver about half of what you might hope for in the way of efficiency and optimal utilization. The best bet to deliver the other 50% is network-based storage intelligence. You'll have to get past the magic-wand claims for this latest pancea from storage vendors, though. And not every incarnation of smart switches or appliances is going to be right for you.

Columns in this issue