Enterprises creating storage nightmare of the future

Enterprises creating storage nightmare of the future

Info management still ad hoc

There are very few organizations managing information content well, it is still an ad hoc affair creating "the storage nightmare of the future" according to Gartner vice president Phil Sargeant.

He said in the enterprise space, automated tools to specify the nature of data, and how it should be classified in storage, or true Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), is still a long road ahead. In fact it will not happen for at least four more years.

Speaking at the Storage Networking World event held in Sydney yesterday, Sargeant said organizations in the Asia Pacific region don't want to know about content.

He said the crux of the issue is that organizations need to focus on how information is managed, not just stored.

"Understanding content is vitally important to store information economically and to create business value," he said.

"Many end users might already have three to five terabytes of storage space or more with growth rates of 20 to 50 per cent; they need to address that growth.

"Over time archiving and content management will mesh."

Sargeant said he is yet to see an organization implement what ILM promises to deliver.

"I do see very good point solutions but certainly there is a long way to go; ILM is about moving through tiers of storage and putting information where it makes the most manual sense; data classification tools," he said.

"Data classification tools have a long way to go as a true ILM is three to four years away."

Ray Dunn, vice chairman of the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) board of directors, believes organizations have nearly two decades to transform their business to an "info-centric" enterprise and push business unit collaboration through using that information.

Dunn said the best way to achieve that is through the adoption or implementation of an enterprise services oriented architecture and open standards.

"So how do we get to this info-centric enterprise? SNIA believe by looking at creating (standards-based) service architecture across multiple vendors. It is very expensive for a vendor with proprietary interfaces as well as difficult for the consumer as they have to figure our individual interfaces for devices," Dunn said.

"SNIA has created a specification for a standard called SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative-Specification) which shows the ability for all disk arrays to be able to report a single set of protocols and information so if you have a disk array or such from EMC or HP, by using the SMIS standard, reports to management appear in the same way.

Future proofing both storage systems, and the data retained is also a critical part of storage in the future, according to Dunn.

"We have to come up with systems that enable migration to new storage systems or by using standards available to vendors to build devices in such a way the migration of technology allows for an info-centric architecture to exist."

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