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Storage Virtualization Adoption Trend and Economic Experience
Organizations are having a highly positive economic experience with storage virtualization, nearly as positive as with server virtualization. Nevertheless, adoption rates are moderate and nearly one-third of organizations are still at the researching stage. This study first examines adoption trends, providing information on how many organizations have storage virtualization in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding existing implementations. We also look at the economic experience of those that have adopted virtualized storage. We examine ROI as the percentage of organizations that achieve positive or break-even ROI within a two-year period. We also balance the potential ROI against the risks, measured in terms of the percentage that exceed budgets for total cost of ownership. (14 pp., 9 figs.)[Research Byte]
Storage Virtualization: Early Adopters Achieving Benefits
Storage vendors have been promoting virtualization as the next big step towards improving the ability of data centers to maximize storage resources, gain flexibility, and lower the cost of managing increasing amounts of data. This report assesses the economics of storage virtualization, based on the experiences of early adopters as reported in our most recent annual survey. It provides an explanation of storage virtualization technology to gain insight into its potential benefits, and concludes with recommendations for successful implementation. In brief, we find that most adopters are experiencing positive ROI with relatively low risk, but that potential benefits are not yet being fully realized. (4 pp., 4 figs.)[Executive Summary]
The ABCs of Storage Area Networks
Making the decision to invest in storage area networks (SANs) requires an understanding of the differences between various approaches to managing storage. Unfortunately, the differences are not always clearly understood outside the realm of the enterprise data center. SANs, network-attached storage (NAS), and direct-attached storage (DAS) are sometimes positioned as competing technologies, but in actuality all three are found in today's enterprise IT environments and have distinct applications. This Research Byte provides a primer on these three types of storage management systems and their application.
SAN Benefits Require Infrastructure Best Practices
As more companies move toward storage capacities near or above the petabyte level, the need to effectively manage storage is growing in importance. According to a recent Computer Economics survey, more than two-thirds of all companies are meeting this need through the deployment of storage area networks (SANs). This report investigates approaches to effectively manage the implementation and ongoing growth in SANs. It also analyzes the key management principles that can help improve the availability, functionality, and reliability of storage systems. Finally, it presents the results of our survey, which provides insights into the economic performance of this technology. (7 pp., 7 figs.)
Storage Management Disciplines are Declining
Although the cost of disk storage has been dropping, the demand for storage is ever increasing. Therefore, good storage management is still an important discipline for data center managers. However, benchmarks collected over the past decade show that storage management practices have gotten worse across the board: in mainframe data centers as well as in UNIX and Windows server environments. (3 pp., 3 figs.)
IP SANs Deliver Positive ROI
Many companies are finding that storage area networks (SANs) based on IP technology are more economical and effective than SANs based on traditional fiber channel technology. These results are encouraging, but potential users must consider several caveats involved before taking the plunge into IP SANs.
IP SANs Prove Their Worth
IT managers are drawn to IP storage area networks because of the undeniably lower acquisition costs of IP SANs in comparison to traditional Fibre Channel (FC) SANs. But how do ownership costs and performance of the two architectures compare? IT executives must consider the idiosyncrasies of IP SAN technology in order to capture full returns from the investment.[Executive Summary]
Storage Area Networks Support Consolidation
Storage areas networks are rapidly increasing in numbers in organizations both large and small. A major reason for SAN popularity is their history of providing positive economic results. Storage consolidation using SANs pays off by reducing the administrative and maintenance effort necessary to support pools of network attached storage devices or other types of distributed storage. Click here to purchase. - $150 (USD)
Tape Systems Grow More Cost Effective
New and revised tape drives and media increase in capacity while their costs, compared to any other storage architecture, are more attractive than ever. The real issue with tape has never been its cost but rather the inconvenience of dealing with massive numbers of tape cartridges and the administration necessary to keep track of extensive tape libraries. Help is available through improved management tools that can reduce the labor required for the care and feeding of tape archives.
Defend Your Storage Area Network
Storage area networks are growing in popularity because of their history of providing excellent returns to organizations that use them. Success in storage security requires a combination of wise use of technology along with good management practices. While SAN security resembles other IT security methodologies in some respects, storage has unique requirements that must be addressed.
Enterprise Storage — The Choices and Their Implications
Within the next five years, every company with a computer infrastructure will either have implemented or will be involved in evaluating some form of network-based storage. Given the continued advances in the industry, how does one select a technology that best fits the requirements of their business? This article examines the alternative technologies available today, and explores a few emerging, or disruptive technologies that will soon enter the marketplace.
SANs Are Beginning to Show Positive Returns
Experience of early storage area networks adopters have experienced excellent ROI. Computer Economics surveys show that two-thirds of the organizations already have a SAN in operation and that all of them are at least breaking even. Interoperability among components from heterogeneous vendors is still a problem, but solutions are emerging.
Making the Case for Outsourced Storage
Consider the savings from not having to purchase additional storage units, servers, and communication equipment; to license or update databases and operating systems, to obtain space for equipment; and to hire IT staff to manage your enterprise storage needs. These may be the payoffs of a successful outsourcing of your organization's storage requirements.
The Risks of Storage Area Networks
Storage area networks (SAN) are beginning to demonstrate their utility. The value of transporting storage data at 100 Mbps, without bogging down LANs using tradition network attached storage (NAS), should not be underestimated. On the other hand, SAN technology is clearly an emerging one that suffers from such problems as poor interoperability among heterogeneous Fibre Channel products and inadequate management utilities, which must be resolved.
Storage Price Dynamics Tilt Toward Purchasers
Price wars among vendors, along with ever-improving technology, continue to offer buyers superior storage devices at lower unit prices. Both more cost-effective methods for manufacturing the devices and new storage architectures are moving the industry toward standardization and cheaper mainstream applications. Two architectural areas that show particularly notable gains are desktop storage and storage area networks (SANs).