“SATA is a hell of a lot cheaper than fibre drives,” he said. “And price is king in a lot of places.”
Tips and tricks
Dimension Data general manager datacentre solutions, Ronnie Altit, gave us his top five tips for implementing a storage management strategy.
1. Understand your data, its location, size and age, and growth trend. It’s critical to understand the growth trajectory of data so as to determine the ongoing costs and the “points of inflection” (times at which you’ll need to invest significantly in storage infrastructure – such as a new SAN/NAS, or new tape library).
2. Understand the business value of data, so as to get a firm grip on what needs to be stored, where and for how long.
3. Understand the cost of the data on the overall storage environment to determine an effective storage strategy that will address both the short and the long term.
4. Don’t assume that all technology will be a fit. While there are some excellent technologies available – such as archive, de-duplication, VTL and the like – not every approach will provide a suitable ROI for every organisation.
5. Make sure you understand the roadmap of the vendors you work with. Is the environment becoming more complex, or are you working to simplify the management?
Many vendors have noted the popularity of this cheaper disk. NEC, for example, has decided to phase out its S-series fibre channel drives, replacing them with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). SAS, the next evolution in iSCSI technology, overcomes many of its predecessor’s limitations in terms of distance and performance, while still being 40 per cent the cost of fibre channel.
However, some customers may find more value investing in tools and implementing policies that maximise existing storage investments rather than buying more disk; a course of action that can create more problems than it solves, McIsaac said.
“If everybody pulls their emails off the Exchange server onto unmanaged devices, and if many users in the same network have the same conversations and attachments stored, you actually end up replicating data all over the place,” he said.
“Most people are pack-rats. My experience is the only way to make it work is to automate the archiving.”