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Vol. 5 No. 10 December 2006

Users want more from tiered storage

Storage vendors are building block-based tiered storage into their products, but some users are asking why the combination of block-level granularity and file-level automation isn't a part of large, high-end, heterogeneous tiered storage systems. "Tiering data for performance management is a struggle when it crosses the bounds of a controller," says Jeff Boles, IT manager for the City of Mesa, AZ. "Block-level data in and of itself is never going to be completely indicative of access patterns because that's not the way we work." Vendors say products simply don't exist today that could keep a single block within a larger file on primary storage while sending the rest of the file, block by block, to a separate file system on a separate physical tier, bringing the blocks back together when different parts of the file are accessed again. Midrange arrays like Compellent Technologies' Storage Center SAN and EqualLogic's PS Series have begun baking in block-level, tiered storage functions and nearly every high-end storage vendor offers...

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Features in this issue

  • Hot technologies for 2007

    "Storage" magazine's editors reviewed technology developments, product introductions and storage standards to come up with this short list of must-have technologies for 2007. We believe iSCSI SANs, hardware-based tape encryption, high-capacity disk drives, virtualization and thin provisioning will have the greatest impact on enterprise storage environments.

  • SAN consolidation strategies

    As islands of SANs proliferate in companies, the cost of storage can soar. Sound SAN design strategies allow companies to reduce the number of SAN islands, strengthen a primary SAN, make storage easier to manage and provide more data protection.

  • Quality awards II: EqualLogic named top midrange array

    by  Rich Castagna

    Another Quality Awards dark-horse candidate, EqualLogic PS Series, joins backup winner BakBone in unseating established players for top honors.

Columns in this issue

  • Is it really a disaster?

    Was it really a disaster after all? It's important to distinguish operational recovery from disaster recovery because the tools and techniques used in each situation can differ significantly.