Storage Efficiency with Consolidation; Consolidation with Unification
by David Merrill on Apr 9, 2012
Ever since we started decentralizing IT resources in the golden-era of client/server (mid-90s), we have been working to reign in the sprawl by consolidation recommendation. As soon as we consolidate, there will be another reason to sprawl (perhaps next time in someone else’s cloud infrastructure). Consolidation has been an effective technique for many years to reduce costs, and it implies several activities and resulting cost reductions:
- Fewer ‘things’ to touch and manage—so more effective labor costs
- Reduced environmental costs when distributed assets are brought together
- Wasted IT assets are identified and reduced, producing better ROA
- Reduced and optimized network or connection costs
- In some situations consolidation can also reduce the license costs and related maintenance costs. If licenses are frame-based or host-based, this can be very effective
- Improvements in version control, configuration management, upgrades and logistics come with managing fewer things in a more centralized or federated manner
- Consolidation can have compounding, down-stream impact to data protection and disaster protection systems, as well as infrastructures
Virtualization has also been effective with storage and server virtual consolidation over the years, enabling the loosely distributed resources to appear and be presented as fewer logical units. Virtualization can tolerate some asset sprawl, but presents a logical or virtual view of the assets for management, control and sometimes licensing.
Within the storage arena, most consolidations are within classes of assets: SAN consolidation, NAS consolidation, backup consolidation, etc. The in-species consolidation efforts should be done first to achieve the micro optimization. If and when the opportunity emerges where macro consolidation is possible (SAN and NAS and iSCSI), then we have a much larger denominator or capacity to optimize, and this can turn into significant savings. Consolidation and optimization within different families of IT/storage assets is now possible with recent capabilities and functionality of unified storage. The economic and operational benefits have been covered in the press and with analysts for over a year. Below are some samples that I have assembled as a quick reference (note: some of these links are marketing documents, but you can see common messages of efficiency, cost reduction and operational impact with unified storage architectures).
- Unified Storage For Dummies (Oracle)
- SearchStorage’s Unified Definition
- What Is The Big Deal About Unified Storage? (FutureGov)
- Unified Storage Benefits, Implementation and Challenges (SearchStorage)
- Is it Time to Switch to Unified Storage? (Scale Computing)
Besides unified storage, there is consolidation/unification capabilities with converged (storage, server, SAN, VM) environments. There is consolidation, unification and convergence by way of cloud platforms – private and public.
Micro optimization and consolidation is best within like-environments (SAN, email), and when those efficiencies are achieved, larger scopes for consolidation and unification (storage, network, hypervisors) can be scheduled to extend operational and cost efficiencies.
well nice info on Consolidation and distribution