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Issue of February 2004 
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Events: CIO Panel Discussion TS 2003

Strategies for Storage Management

Storage was identified as an important topic for discussion at Network Magazine's Technology Senate 2003 event, held last November in Kochi. So a discussion panel was conducted to review various issues. The session was presided by eminent IT-Heads of various industries who voiced their issues, concerns and observations on Storage Management. This was followed by an interactive session, wherein, the panelists raised and discussed certain issues. The Panel also addressed questions from the audience.

Some of the key issues raised during this session were storage management strategies, a new approach to storage policies, and ROI on storage.

Manoj Chandiramani, Assistant Vice President-Networks, Refco Sify Securities India spoke of the key Storage Management issues.

We are bottoming down to six things: CCMPRS. We know that data is growing and we always need Capacity. But can we incur a bit more Cost to improve and manage it better? Also, we need to look at who the people are who will Manage storage for us—does it make sense to use our own people, who know our corporate strategy and philosophy?

The 'P' stands for Performance and Platforms. When we talk about Performance of any system we need to know how good a Platform is. The 'R' stands for Reliability. How reliable is your solution? Is it available whenever you need it? The 'S' stands for Scalability. We may estimate the growth in our data for the next three years, but do we consider if the new system that we're buying is scalable further than that?

The Panelists

Ishwar Jha, Senior Manager-IT, Sony Music Entertainment (India)

Manoj Chandiramani, Assistant Vice President-Net-works, Refco Sify Securities India

P.K. Vohra, General Manager, ICICI Bank

Harcharan Singh, Information Systems Manager, Hyatt Services India

Vijay Karayi, Head-Internal Audit & Information Technology, Jindal Iron & Steel Company

Moderator

Val Souza, Editor, Express Computer

Ishwar Jha, Senior Manager-IT, Sony Music Entertainment (India) said:

Sometimes technology becomes a barrier when it comes to storing large format data on to the system. But you can always go the extra mile and find a platform for this purpose.

P.K. Vohra, General Manager, ICICI Bank said:

Today I see lots of islands of storage and managing storage is a complete nightmare. It's still quite a challenge to optimize all the storage that you have. One of my concerns is that when these Virtualization Engines come in, I hope to have some control of where my data lies, and over where my archive logs, index files and hot files are sitting. Even though we are moving to a virtualized world, we still need to have some control over our storage, and I hope the emerging solutions and software will facilitate that.

Vijay Karayi, Head-Internal Audit & Information Technology, Jindal Iron & Steel Company commented on Storage Policy said:

CIOs should take a different approach to Storage Policies. The corporate should look at BS7799 certification for IS auditing and benchmarking—and calibrate all security systems, including storage systems vis-à-vis BS7799. You also need to consider the regulatory issues, as certain acts and rules mandate storage of data for several years.

Harcharan Singh, Information Systems Manager, Hyatt Services India commented on the ROI from Storage.

Storage enables you to define what you have now, and we can forecast what we want in the future—and actually have a backup and recovery plan in place, so that we can get the data at a time when it's required.

CONCLUSION

The need for a comprehensive storage policy is a significant issue to consider. CIOs must also take a different approach to forming a storage policy and consider aspects like data security and mandates from regulatory bodies.

The other major concern is ROI on storage and DR. There are various ways of looking at ROI. It was agreed that a CIO must look beyond IT and consider the business benefits. For instance, they should be thinking about business aspects like increasing the share value and providing better service to customers.

Other issues and concerns expressed by the audience during this session were the viability of the SSP (Storage Service Provider) model, the management of multiple backup devices, and the need for industry standards.

 
     
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