The key focus area for most
enterprises is backups. But companies should realize
that other areas like storage management and data recovery
are equally important
If there's one IT resource that
needs to be upgraded periodically, it's Storage. Businesses,
especially those that generate a high number of electronic
transactions, are experiencing a data explosion. The
average percentage increase in storage in the last one
year is 36 percent; 16 percent of the respondents said
their storage requirement increased by 26 to 50 percent
in the last one year. As someone once said, "Storage
is like candy, you can never get enough."
for this data explosion are many: the growth of the
Internet, workplace automation, use of enterprise applications,
and the need to archive historical data.
requiring storage the most is BFSI (73 percent). Regulations
have made it mandatory for BFSI companies to store historical
data. As per RBI guidelines, banks are expected to securely
store the last seven years of transactional data.
have implemented applications like ERP or SCM also generate
Those who have
traditionally invested in storage will continue to do
so this year. But more companies from Govt./PSU and
FMCG/ Consumer durables sectors plan to invest in storage
this year. The recognition of digital signatures (in
the Indian legal framework) followed by e-governance
initiatives will result in wider usage of electronic
documents in government institutions. The FMCG companies
are getting more customer-focused and are using applications
like CRM, which generate much data.
|Click on each diagram below
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For this survey
we considered various storage areas like DAS, NAS, SAN,
backup devices, disaster recovery tools, storage virtualization,
and storage management application.
out in the matrix is the importance given to backup
devices, especially among small companies. Overall,
77 percent said they use some kind of backup solution
and 36 percent plan to invest in backup this year. A
high number of companies in BFSI (83 percent) and Healthcare
(90 percent) are using backup devices. Since banks have
to store last seven years of transactional data, there
is no better way to store it other than tapes—these
are quite affordable and reliable.
'storage insurance' one needs to think beyond just tapes.
One should also go in for disaster recovery tools which
can minimize downtime and ensure business continuity.
Only 31 percent
use disaster recovery tools and 29 percent plan to do
so this year. These are mainly BFSI companies, some
of whom have replicated their entire network infrastructure
at remote disaster recovery sites (mostly in Chennai).
that stands out in the matrix, is the low priority given
by many to Storage management applications. Just 16
percent currently use such applications and 15 percent
plan to invest in this area this year.
is a very important aspect that companies are ignoring.
As you add additional capacity, there is an increase
in the operational/maintenance cost. Mana-ging the huge
volumes of data also becomes more complex. That's why
storage management applications need to be an integral
part of any company with sizable storage investments.
A storage strategy and storage management tools can
improve storage resource utilization, availability and
that has few takers is Storage Virtualization. Just
five percent have gone in for storage virtualization
and the same number plan to go in for it this year.
This is a concept in which all storage resources, regardless
of location, are aggregated as one large pool of storage.
One of the advantages of storage virtualization is that
it provides end-users with easy access to varied storage
virtualization is still a nascent concept here largely
because the concept and the benefits it presents have
not been clearly understood. Different vendors have
different definitions for it, and there's also a lack
DAS, NAS or SAN?
It's not that
businesses have a choice between these three storage
solutions. While 29 percent have NAS (a storage device
on the network), 18 percent use a SAN (a separate network
for storage). Companies clearly need to make a shift
from DAS to its
SAN is useful
for companies having high transactional volumes. It
becomes more relevant when the data needs to be accessed
quickly and at any point of time. Typically, banks and
the customer-service oriented companies would go in
for a SAN.
Just 18 percent
currently have a SAN and 20 percent plan to invest in
SAN this year.
small businesses should move away from DAS and adopt
NAS solutions. While DAS is not scalable enough, NAS
offers a capacity going up to several terabytes. Another
benefit is the cost savings. NAS can be plugged into
the existing Ethernet network (like a network printer)
and this storage can be accessed by anyone on the network.
That makes it an ideal solution for small and medium
DAS has been
the traditional method of storage. It works best on
the LAN and it's ideal for small workgroups. But DAS
storage is gradually disappearing as more companies
consolidate their storage or move towards network storage
solutions (like NAS and SAN).
isn't dead yet, and 45 percent of the respondents currently
use DAS solutions. Many of these are large sized companies.
20 percent plan to invest in DAS this year, mainly as
incremental storage for servers.
A storage management
policy is a set of guidelines that defines the corporate
rules and responsibilities for storage services and
usage. Your storage architecture is incomplete without
a storage management policy, which includes support
from your user commu-nity and senior management.
of CIOs claim to have a storage management policy in
to have a storage management policy because it will
invariably lead to better data security, regular backup
measures, established disaster recovery practices, and
consequently, lesser storage-related ailments. It also
keeps a check on resource utilization and helps you
cope with the data explosion.
- The average percentage increase in storage
capacity in the last one year in an organization
has been 36 percent.
- Data backup is regarded as the most important
area within storage, and currently 77 percent
have a data backup solution. This year 36 percent
plan to invest in this area.
- Storage virtualization is still a nascent
concept; only five percent plan to invest in
it this year.
- Storage is most significant to the BFSI,
Services, and Auto & Auto Components verticals.
- More companies from the BFSI, FMCG/Consumer
durables, Telecom/IT/ITES, Govt./PSU verticals
plan to invest in storage this year.
- Don't just concentrate on backups. It's equally
important to test those backups.
- For complete 'storage insurance' one should
also go in for disaster recovery tools. Such
tools can minimize downtime and ensure business
- You must have a Storage policy in place that
addresses storage management, data security,
backup, disaster recovery practices, and integrity
- Fast growing, small organizations should
consider moving away from DAS and adopting NAS
- SAN is useful for companies having high transactional
volumes. It becomes more relevant when the data
needs to be accessed quickly, and at any point
The R&D center
of Texas Instruments (TI) in Bangalore is using
NAS appliances from NetApp to address its burgeoning
data requirements. TI is in the business of designing
and researching chips that go into high-tech devices
like cell phones and PDAs.
Given the nature of its business, TI's data requirements
were growing exponentially every year. Accumulated
data has grown from 3 TB in 2000 to 17 TB by end-2002.
Says N. V. Kameswar,
General Manager-IT, Texas Instruments, "People
who used to ask for gigabytes are now asking for
To address this requirement,
the company opted for NAS filers from NetApp for
1. The bulk of TI's
data is project design files that need to be stored
centrally, so it can be accessed from anywhere
within the organization.
2. Their global strategy
team recommended NetApp filers as part of their
IT infrastructure standardization strategy.
"The aim was
to have a common operation environment and avoid
reinventing the wheel," says Kameswar.
The company has purchased
47 TB of raw capacity across 10 filers in five
clusters. Of this 35 TB is usable space and the
remaining is used for creating a RAID 4 system.
Using NetApp filers,
the company can offer centralized storage with
redundancy and automated backups. It can also
scale its storage pool with ease.
TI is now focused on scalability and Disaster
Recovery. Says Kameswar, "We are currently
adding 1 TB of storage every month." He further
adds, "Though TI does have off-site storage
of backup tapes, a DR solution is high-priority
activity for us this year."
India needed a storage solution that would cost-effectively
manage its growing storage requirements and improve
data availability. The traditional Direct Attached
Storage (DAS) environment at the bank was not
flexible enough to keep pace with the company's
anticipated business growth.
"In the next year we plan to open at least
100 more bank branches and expect an almost 200
to 300 percent increase in transaction volume,"
says Somnath Sarkar, Vice President-Technology
Operations, Citibank India (Consumer Bank). "We
are growing very fast, so network scalability
In the DAS environment, each host server was
directly attached to a storage device and data
on that device could only be accessed via the
LAN through the operating system of the attached
SAN moves in
To address these issues, the bank decided to migrate
from a DAS environment to a high-performance,
Citibank India's SAN setup comprises an EMC Symmetrix
8530 disk array and a StorageTek L7000 tape library.
The core of the SAN consists of the SAN fabrica
redundant dual-fabric configuration of Brocade
SilkWork Fiber Channel switches that connected
the servers to the storage devices.
After the implementation, Citibank has experienced
a 10-20 percent increase in processing online
customer transactions and an amazing 30 percent
increase in handling backend processing jobs.
End-to-end network fault tolerance has increased
Hardware consolidation and centralized SAN management
have led to improved resource utilization.
"We have seen excellent stability, even
though it's a very new environment. The SAN has
been a very cost-effective way to help our business
continue to scale up. We have seen almost a 100
percent improvement in our backup windows. So
we can now backup most of our databases on a daily
basis," says Sarkar.
Citibank has plans to extend the SAN for disaster
Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
Disaster recovery tools
: All those who have invested in IT storage infrastructure
or are planning to invest