5 Different Data Storage Consolidation Methods

Excerpted from Global Knowledge White Paper: Storage Consolidation, from EMC Corporation

There are a number of ways a business can consolidate storage:

Infrastructure Consolidation with iSCSI: iSCSI storage, while still in an early adoption phase, made it possible for many organizations to consolidate direct-attached storage into a storage network. With the use of an organization’s existing IP-network infrastructure, iSCSI eliminates the need to build a Fibre Channel storage infrastructure which helps lower the deployment cost.

When considering storage hardware products, it is critical to take into account capabilities such as built-in support for Fibre Channel and iSCSI protocols to accommodate evolving business requirements of large or small companies from an investment protection perspective.

Infrastructure Consolidation with Fibre Channel SAN: Medium-to-large-size organizations that adopted Fibre Channel SAN technology some time ago continue to benefit from these deployments. The challenge today is that due to either limitations in SAN technology that existed a few years ago or due to limited initial experimental SAN deployments with additional deployments over time, companies have accumulated numerous SAN islands within a data center.

By consolidating storage to a scalable platform, organizations can achieve significant improvement in storage utilization.

Infrastructure Consolidation with NAS—File Server Storage Consolidation: The growth in business can lead to proliferation of storage resources to a point where managing these resources not only becomes difficult but also quite expensive with diminishing returns. In order to reduce total cost in implementing and operating the supporting IT infrastructure, a networked-attached storage (NAS) architecture can play a critical role in heavy file serving environments.

By consolidating file servers and storage to NAS, organizations can simplify file server and storage management, consolidate hardware footprint to save floor space, and reduce the overall cost of operations.

Information Consolidation—Optimization with Tiered Storage: Business information must be retained for many years to remain compliant with regulations and fend off lawsuits and litigations. With the ongoing growth of information, storing all business information on primary disk storage can be costly. Hence, it is important to be able to classify information based on its relevant value to business and associate the appropriate class (tier) of storage for information retention.

Tiered Storage Archiving: A properly designed tiered storage archiving solution helps organizations in several ways. First the solution classifies and maps information value to business. Next, the solution consolidates all archiveable information in a centralized location making it easier to better manage and quickly retrieve information. Finally, by being able to create a balance between information value and its repository and by migrating less-critical information to low-cost storage, organizations can reclaim their premium tier-one storage for their most-critical business information, thus driving down the overall cost of storage and keeping the environment consolidated.

Database Information Archiving: Databases, which are prone to grow very large over many years of deployment, can make use of tiered storage and effectively consolidate database and manage cost. With the use of data classification software designed specifically for all popular databases, organizations can classify their SQL, Oracle, SAP, and other database structures and store database components on different classes/tiers of storage while maintaining relational structure between all database components to make it fully functional and operational from an end user’s perspective.

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