Storage UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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May 20, 2002—In this issue:
- Active Archiving: A New Approach to the Data-Storage Challenge
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- ITC Votes to Investigate EMC-Hitachi Case
- IBM Announces 1TB Milestone
- Nextech 2002
- Attend Our Free Windows Security Solutions Webinar!
- Tip: Workaround for VERITAS Backup Exec 8.0
- Featured Thread: Fibre Channel vs. ISCSI
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Automate Storage Management
- Replace Defective Components Without Going Offline
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
Everybody knows that the amount of data that enterprises store is increasing rapidly. The META Group estimates that corporate data will increase thirtyfold over the next 10 years. Several factors are fueling the growth. For example, in regulated industries (e.g., health care, transportation), the federal government has mandated that industry participants preserve significant amounts of data for years.
The widespread adoption of enterprise-level applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) also increases data storage needs. Although implementing these applications is high on the IT department agendas in many large and midsized companies, the applications require significant amounts of data storage. Each enterprise application relies on an underlying database, and, as Mike Grovesnor, an industry analyst with the Giga Information Group, has noted, "Databases are the number-one storage hog."
Storage requirements promise only to grow. According to industry observers, for example, migrating an application from to Oracle 11i (to increase performance and gain functionality) could also increase its data-storage requirements by as much as 40 percent because of the structure of the Oracle database tables.
Administrators have used several strategies to address the escalating data-storage demands that enterprise-level applications pose. The first and most common strategy has been to throw more servers and storage capacity at the problem. But even as the cost of hardware has fallen, the overall cost of managing the storage infrastructure has risen.
Storage virtualization is a second and more technically sophisticated approach to managing application-data storage needs. Virtualization makes it easier to view the storage infrastructure as an integrated whole. If one database needs additional storage capacity, you can assign space anywhere on the Storage Area Network (SAN), eliminating the need to install additional hardware and software in one corner of the enterprise if there is unused capacity in another corner. However, few companies have embraced virtualization so far.
A third approach to data storage is active archiving. Pioneered by Princeton Softech, active archiving identifies data that's seldom used (reference data) and moves it off the production database, archiving it on less expensive storage media (e.g., tape drives), from which you can retrieve or restore the data when needed. The active-archiving process preserves the relational context of the data stored on the secondary-storage system.
According to Lisa Cash, president and CEO of Princeton Softech, removing seldom-used reference data from production databases provides many benefits. You can not only use the storage infrastructure more efficiently, reducing the demand for additional hardware and software, but also improve the performance of the applications accessing the database.
In some ways, the concepts behind active archiving resemble those behind Hierarchical Storage Management. HSM is a policy-based storage-management system. The hierarchy makes use of different types of storage media based on cost and retrieval speeds. As files age, they're automatically moved to less expensive, slower devices. Cash points out, however, that HSM differs from active archiving in that HSM doesn't preserve the relational integrity of the data—it just stores information as flat files.
Although Princeton Softech has staked a claim as the leader in active archiving, it's not the only player in the field. IBM offers Row Archive Manager, which lets you selectively remove and store aged data. Computer Associates (CA) and Compuware also offer general-purpose archiving tools. However, these tools are geared to making the backup and restore process more efficient rather than to letting databases operate more efficiently.
Application-specific archiving tools are beginning to emerge as well. OuterBay Technologies and BITbyBIT offer active-archiving tools specifically for Oracle applications such as Oracle financials.
The idea that active archiving can play an important role in making the storage infrastructure and the application infrastructure more efficient is relatively new. To make active archiving work, storage administrators, database administrators, and end users all must be involved in the implementation. With storage needs growing rapidly, you might want to explore whether active archiving is a good storage solution for your organization.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
EMC announced last week that the International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to investigate EMC's claims that Japan-based Hitachi infringes on several EMC software patents. Last Month, EMC sued Hitachi, claiming that the company was violating six EMC patents in Hitachi's software. Hitachi responded by countersuing EMC, claiming EMC violates eight of Hitachi's patents.
The ITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of US government, determines the impact of imports on US industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, (e.g., patent, trademark, copyright infringement). EMC has requested that the United States block Hitachi from importing infringing products to the United States.
IBM announced that last month it recorded 1TB of data to linear digital-tape cartridge, storing almost 10 times more than currently available on linear-tape cartridge. IBM announced the feat to correspond with the company's 50th anniversary of magnetic-tape storage. In May 1952, IBM introduced its first magnetic-tape storage system. Based on magnetic tape that 3M introduced in 1947, IBM's Model 726 tape drive stored 1.4MB of data on a movie reel over 12" in diameter.
IBM's 1TB initiative has been under way in its Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, and IBM storage product development laboratories in San Jose, Tucson, Arizona, and Yamato, Japan. FujiFilm provided the media used in the demonstration. IBM stored the data on a cartridge small enough to fit in a pocket (4" x 5" x 1").
In the near future, IBM plans to release part of the technology in drives that can support 200GB cartridges. The company expects to ship 1TB cartridge-capable drives in the next few years.
Nextech 2002 is the new event for the next generation of IT covering storage, Web services, outsourcing, and networking. This FREE conference and exhibition runs June 11 to 13, 2002, at Earls Court, London. Register now!
If you're using Windows 2000 to run mission-critical applications, you know Win2K has security concerns. The Windows & .NET Magazine's Security Solutions Summit, a half-day online event, addresses where the vulnerabilities lie, how you can strengthen your enterprise's security, and how you can exploit the same tools that hackers use. Register today!
( contributed by Bob Chronister, [email protected] )
Q. I'm using VERITAS Software's VERITAS Backup Exec 8.0 to back up my Sun Microsystems Solaris workstations. Occasionally, the workstations are invisible to my backup server. Is there a problem with Backup Exec's agent software? Do you know of a workaround?
A. The most recent version of Backup Exec's UNIX agent software fixes the problem you describe. You can download the patch from the file downloads section at the VERITAS Web site at the following URL.
(Four messages in this thread)
Damon wonders about the future for Fibre Channel versus Internet SCSI (iSCSI)—what are the performance, cost, and implementation benefits of each; can they coexist and for how long; and will there be a clear winner? To read more about his question or offer your expertise, use the following link:
5. NEW AND IMPROVED(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
NuView announced StorageX 2.0, software that lets you manage large-scale file storage in Windows OSs. You can use the software to automate storage management. StorageX lets you define and implement a disaster-recovery plan. The software features visual replication topography to let you control your replication based on available bandwidth and geographic distribution of sites. For pricing, contact NuView at 281-497-0620.
FIA Storage Systems announced that Aberdeen, a network solution marketer, will offer the POPnetserver family of Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems to its customers. The POPnetserver offers hot-swappable drives, which let you replace defective components without taking the system offline. For pricing, contact Aberdeen at 800-552-6868.
Because next Monday is Memorial Day, Windows & .NET Magazine won't be sending out a Storage UPDATE. The newsletter will resume on June 3.
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