Despite the rapid development of SAN and NAS networks, there are still large amounts of direct access storage (DAS) in the data center. In fact, Wikibon user discussions indicate that there is plenty of "hidden" DAS in data centers. Storage people interviewed are always a little embarrassed about this, explaining that whatever project they are working on will help bring this under control (e.g. virtualization). One storage administrator commented, users are not "...comfortable with the idea of storage administration moving things around" underscoring a lack of confidence in IT.
While less common than ten years ago, many organizations still have unintended incentives for business lines to circumvent centralized storage management. This leads to increased information risk related to litigation, security, compliance and the like.
IBM's XIV approach legitimizes clustered storage. When it arrives with great force in one to three years time, there will be very little price differential between DAS and clustered storage. The only reasons left for not using shared storage will be artificially inflated internal chargebacks of storage or the perception of bad service from storage administration.
Action Item: IT executives need to put in organizations that will actually manage all storage in the data center and ensure compliance. This will reduce risk, reduce cost and bring storage under control. To achieve this, storage administration must first develop a reputation for being able to supply storage at a competitive price, with flexible service. This will take time and needs to be in place before the tsunami of clustered storage washes over the data center.