the good old days when data storage management was relatively
uncomplicated? All you needed were a few disks and tapes.
At most, multiple backups of the same data set to ensure redundancy.
Well, not any more.
The very definition of data storage has changed over the years.
With enterprises automating many of its vital as well as generic
processes and providing e-commerce and other online services,
the volume of data generated is humongous. And the issue is
no longer that of just storing data. It's about making this
data available in real-time, something that just disks or
tapes can't deliver. Then there are other key issues like
data security and disaster recovery that need to be considered
to ensure business continuity in case of a disaster.
To sum it up: Storage is no longer about "just capacity."
It has become a complex and critical IT asset that must be
The Indian angle
Indian CIOs and CTOs realize the growing importance of storage
as a part of their enterprise IT strategy it's become a huge
percentage of their overall IT budget. This is substantiated
by a recent Gartner study that reveals India has the highest
storage utilization rates in Asia at 62.5 percent.
The key issue facing today's CIOs/CTOs is deciding which way
to go from the age-old DAS (Direct Attached Storage) to the
newer NAS (Network Attached Storage) and SAN (Storage Area
Network). The solution you select should be robust, scalable
and redundant a system that lets you add or swap storage capacity
with zero system downtime. Also, the solution should be interoperable;
you should be able to tie it in with your existing legacy
mainframe or Unix platforms that are quite prevalent in enterprises.
True, most storage alternatives today are open in nature,
but it's better to be cautious than regret something later.
This month's cover story acts as a one-stop source for storage.
This resource will help you decide on a storage strategy,
manage storage effectively, and make the vendor selection
and architecture decision easy. There's a "Storage pricing
and guideline template" on Page 37 that will enable you
compare different storage alternatives and select the appropriate
LIC's WAN/MAN setup
Another thing worth mentioning in this column is LIC's (Life
Insurance Corporation of India) extensive WAN/MAN setup. LIC
is the largest life insurance company in India with over 2,048
branches. LIC's WAN/MAN network is still evolving and has
already seen two phases of development, with the entire setup
to be completed in the third phase, sometime this year. By
then it will have 1,495 of its branches networked. In "Serving
insurance policies on the Net" we explore how LIC has
made this initiative work.
Sandeep Ajgaonkar, Assistant Editor