generated in your company is not getting any lesser even in
the trying economic times. A networked storage strategy with
specialized architectures will help store the growing volumes,
apply management techniques, and provide easy access to all.
by Soutiman Das Gupta
CTO, Rahul Saxena, listened to the voice at the other end
of the line and was absolutely baffled. It was just two months
ago that he had procured several hard disks amounting to 600
GB of storage capacity. And today the administrator reported
that storage repositories had already utilized 80 percent
capacity. Where on earth did so much storage space go and
where did so much data come from?
To Rahul, 600 GB disk space sounded good enough to manage
the storage requirements for at least the next seven months.
After all, the company only ran a few modules of an enterprise
application, some firewalls, anti-virus software, and network
In reality, the storage needs turned out to be different.
Along with company growth came a flood of data that needed
to be archived. There were company financial figures, accounting
history, customer data, purchase orders, and inventory figures
pouring in from all areas of the business. Rahul's story is
reality in many Indian companies. A study shows that the average
'Data 2000' company (the top 2000 companies who use high amounts
of storage) will double its online capacity demands every
eight and a half months.
the staggering growth of digital information and the associated
infrastructure in times of economic slowdown poses quite a
challenge. The answers to the challenge are evolved network
storage architectures like NAS (Network Attached Storage)
and SAN (Storage Area Network). The challenge for IT management
is to determine the value of these new technologies.
FreeMarkets Inc., a Pittsburgh-based online B2B sourcing,
auction, and consulting services firm with $91 million in
revenue last year, has managed to survive the slowdown. The
company's storage environment today consists of 11 TB of network
storage, both SAN and NAS. It serves an array of Unix and
Windows/Intel servers from a variety of vendors, and several
TB of DAS. Last year its storage amounted to 5 TB. By this
time next year the company expects storage capacity to reach
An industry watcher, Enterprise Storage Group, based in Massachusetts,
suggests that the cost of moving from a non-networked storage
infrastructure to a network storage infrastructure will have
a dramatic ROI (Return On Investment). In a recent study of
IT executives, Enterprise Storage Group found that those who
have implemented a SAN feel that the average amount of storage
their personnel could manage is 3.7 times greater than what
they could manage with a distributed DAS (Direct Attached
A storage network-based environment also opens the door to
deploying better storage management tools. John T. McArthur,
VP, Storage Research Program at IDC Worldwide says, "If
you are going to make an investment in anything this year,
make an investment in storage resource management."
estimates that storage capacity will increase at nearly 75
percent a year in the 2001-2003 time frame (IDC Worldwide
Disk Storage Systems Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004). This
growth highlights a couple of very important issues. First,
the increasing importance of data and second, the difficulties
of managing burgeoning storage resources. "The growth
in storage capacity and the current IT skill shortage demands
a new model for information management and information delivery.
Networked storage is the framework to deliver on this new
model, and the solutions are real. Success will come to those
companies that can organize to take advantage of these solutions,"
says IDC's McArthur.
It certainly is time for IT managers to wake up to storage
needs. IDC forecasts that by 2004, 67 percent of all storage
will be networked. Now it's your turn to take a call.