Confusion over Consolidation of Storage and Consolidation of Data
by Hu Yoshida on May 18, 2012
Randy Kerns, a blogger on Storage Soup and also a Senior Strategist at Evaluator group, recently blogged about Confusion Over Storage Consolidation.
Randy says that “the confusion comes about because of some vendor messaging and what IT storage professionals actually view as storage consolidation. This leads to miscommunication and different sets of expectations about storage optimization projects.”
While he agrees that the simplest form of consolidation is to reduce the number of boxes on the floor, he does not believe that storage consolidation means one storage system for all purposes. He believes that there are legitimate reasons why IT operations end up with multiple systems over time.
These reasons include:
- Projects come with budget specifically to purchase new storage for that project
- Mergers and acquisitions bring in disparate storage systems
- Purchase of additional systems instead of expanding existing storage systems due to impact on overall performance or access density
- Impractical to reset depreciation schedules when adding to capacity
- Less valuable data should be stored on less expensive, lower performance storage systems
- Storage systems are transient and need to be replaced after four or five years.
While Randy acknowledges that tiered storage allows for greater consolidation by managing the variations in storage requirements, he does not believe that the “single box for everything” concept is practical. I would agree with Randy on all these points if you were not using storage virtualization.
Hitachi Data Systems strategy for storage has been “one platform for all data” since the introduction of USP in 2004, which was the first storage system that could virtualize external storage from different vendors. Note that this is not one platform for all storage. We expect that customers will have a mix of storage systems for all the reasons that Randy has stated. With storage virtualization IT operations can use different storage systems but the data can be consolidated into a common pool of storage resources. And when attached to VSP or its predecessors, USP and USP V, all the resources are immediately upgraded with the enterprise function and performance of an enterprise storage system. With storage virtualization there is no need to rip and replace storage systems and no need to reset depreciation schedules in order to consolidate storage.
The current VSP virtualization engine is a powerful multiprocessor, which can nondisruptively scale-up by adding cache, processor and port modules to increase and balance performance. Unlike systems which can only tier storage across internal pools of storage, VSP can dynamically tier across external storage systems and extend the life of existing storage assets. Storage systems are transient and do need to be replaced, but storage virtualization from Hitachi makes this seamless. Even VSP itself or its predecessors eventually need to be refreshed, but this can be done without disruption to the application with nondisruptive migration services.
The confusion over consolidation of storage versus consolidation of data comes about when one fails to recognize the difference that comes with storage control unit based virtualization.
If you are interested in storage virtualization and the economic benefits that Hitachi can provide with our unique approach to storage virtualization, contact your Hitachi Data Systems representatives. We are currently running a Switch IT On IV promotion for storage virtualization, which includes a 2 year term license for the virtualiztion software BOS V, and a greatly discounted price on associated 2 year term unlimited BOS capacity licenses along with professional services to get you started, and the option to buy a 2 year term unlimited capacity license for Tuning Manager, Tiered Storage Manager, and the Command director at the same greatly discounted price.