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Issue of September 2004 
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Documented Storage Policy and ILM

LG Electronics Private Limited has a documented storage policy and uses ILM-specific strategies in its network. It has a growing business spread over a number of nationwide locations, and its IT infrastructure includes business-critical applications such as an internal ERP system and Lotus Notes.

To maintain a sense of order and control in its growing storage infrastructure, the company created and adopted a documented storage policy. The CIO also introduced ILM-specific aspects in the policy to get better value from the system.

The Storage Architecture

The company deployed StorEdge 6320 boxes from Sun Microsystems to meet current and future storage requirements. This is a scalable mid-range SAN storage, which has an adaptable, modular architecture, and can be upgraded.

"The system has features like multi-volume capability, single view, and system-wide management utility. And with 73 GB/10K FC-AL drives we can scale up to 10.2 TB for our current ERP and future data warehousing needs," says Arindam Bose, DGM, IT.

For storage volume management, the company uses Veritas Volume Manager, which provides online storage management capabilities. It protects against disk and hardware failures, and offers the flexibility to extend existing hardware capabilities.

Sun StorEdge Enterprise Backup software provides the means for backup, archive, and disaster recovery. It offers features such as high-speed parallelism, automated media management combined with Sun StorEdge L20 Autoloader, flexible usage of robotics, and full bulk access via removable magazines. "This gives us the flexibility to build a data continuance environment," says Bose.

ILM-specific Strategy

LG believes that ILM will help the company in the near and long run. "Our technical team is into constant innovation and we have implemented certain aspects of ILM depending on our growing data requirements. For example, a newly created piece of data would sit on the server's primary storage array. And as the data ages, we move it to secondary storage," said Bose.

Policies

LG has a documented storage policy, which is reviewed from time to time to manage data growth from creation through retirement. "Our policy encompasses storage strategies instead of narrow approaches, which includes storage, retention, management and retrieval," explains Bose.

He believes that without a proper storage policy, companies face an extremely high risk of losing valuable data, which could result in unprecedented business loss. After all, information availability is now an important factor for companies. "Recovery policies should be tested at regular intervals so that an information crash-proof mechanism is updated and available all the time," feels Bose.

Cyquator Takes a Stand

Sagar Sule, Vice President, Technical & Operations, Cyquator, believes that ILM provides a practical methodology for aligning storage costs with business priorities.

"ILM solves key problems such as ineffective storage utilization, the costs of managing storage and the ability to manage storage growth surrounding data replication, disaster recovery/business continuance, and backup," he says.

The company adheres to the following strategies in the storage architecture:

  • Backups are taken in Daily Incremental Weekly Full (DIWF) manner on DLTs.
  • Full backups are taken monthly on DLTs and maintained offsite.
  • Full backups are maintained as per specified norms (sometimes for 7 years).
  • Tapes are labeled as per internal classification standards for ease of access.
  • Restoration of full backups is done on similar test setups.
  • In case of storage on NAS devices, appropriate date-wise versioning is done.
  • User desktop backups are maintained on the NAS box.

Common mistakes

Sule feels that companies make a number of mistakes when they set about to create an appropriate storage strategy, such as the following:

  • Storage management is made to primarily depend on data age and its access frequency.
  • 'Backup to tape' means offloading aged data from primary resources to tape.
  • Only high-level classification of data is made available.
  • There is a large dependence on manual activities.
  • Recovery processes are not given due importance.

Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at soutimand@networkmagazineindia.com

 
     
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