For 2009 and beyond, here are some storage area network (SAN) management tips and trends for SMBs.
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Sustain and enable business growth without degrading service
There are several approaches for increasing productivity without degrading service, including consolidation of multiple underutilized storage devices into fewer, larger capacity storage devices. But exercise caution when consolidating storage. You want to avoid introducing performance bottlenecks and poor response times.
Another approach to doing more with less is to implement some spring cleaning, including managing your data by archiving old or unused data to removable tape or removable disk drives. Other approaches include compressing online active or static reference data and implementing data footprint reduction tools such as data deduplication.
Address data loss prevention and information security
Data loss prevention (DLP) is the new buzzword that touches on information privacy and securing information from theft or loss, which translates into encryption, physical and logical security. With the growing awareness of threats -- as well as the potential risk of mitigation should information be lost or stolen and the subsequent notification fees -- DLP and security are being looked at as a business insurance policy.
Data protection for virtual environments has become an important topic because of the increase in virtualized servers as well as the issues and opportunities presented by consolidating physical servers. Offsite or remote storage and replication to enable business continuance (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) has become more affordable and easier for SMBs to adopt. The affordability is via a combination of technology improvements and volume adoption by legacy and emerging vendors.
Additional-SAN related technologies for SMBs to keep an eye on include:
- Removable disk drives for backup, data movement and archiving
- Tiered storage including SAS and SATA disks
- Multiprotocol, multifunction storage systems that support block and file
- Storage systems with SAS connectivity
- Data deduplication for backup and archiving to reduce data footprint
About this author: Greg Schulz is founder of the StorageIO Group and author of the books "Resilient Storage Networks — Designing Flexible Scalable Data Infrastructures" and "The Green and Virtual Data Center".
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