Generally, the idea of creating a single name space with an appliance front-ending storage brings benefits of simplification, improved utilization, and the ability to automate data movement throughout the storage hierarchy. CTO’s should be aware, however, that unstructured data is trending toward rich media. This means more space consumption, more issues with long-term retention, and higher costs. New solutions need to be considered to address this challenge starting with virtualization.
CTOs and Infrastructure 2.0 architects should start to look at the integration of storage and network virtualization as an essential part of private and hybrid cloud computing. To achieve this will require a clear strategy as to how to automate the movement of data through the storage hierarchy. A key aspect will be understanding the policies by which applications must be maintained on tier 1 and which are appropriate for migration.
This is a classic case of which users access files. When providing archiving services for users, especially when rich media is involved, proximity and data location become vital to system performance and cost. Integrating network and storage virtualization are becoming a pre-requisite to ensure data is in the right place for the user at the right time. Also, placing inactive data on the proper tier can save substantial hard dollars.
Action Item: CTOs should begin to consider the integration of storage and networking as a critical step in developing infrastructure 2.0 strategies. Virtualizing these components, along with server virtualization, will allow IT organizations to begin to offer IT as a service more cost effectively than today's stove-piped, ad hoc approaches allow. As well, organizations will be able to leverage this approach to provide economics and business models more aligned with cloud service providers.