Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Storage Virtualization Becomes a Vital Business Technology --September 11, 2006

Storage UPDATE: Storage Virtualization Becomes a Vital Business Technology


-Storage Viewpoint: Storage Virtualization Becomes a Vital Business Technology

-News from the Industry: Scalable NAS Solution Meets Beginner Needs

-New and Improved
- Agentless Continuous Data Protection
- Unified iSCSI SAN/NAS Storage Solution



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Improving Remote Access Security and Monitoring

Making the Case for E-mail Archiving and Litigation Readiness


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==== 1. Storage Viewpoint: Storage Virtualization Becomes a Vital Business Technology ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

When storage-virtualization technologies started their migration from the high-end mainframe marketplace to the low-end PC arena--back around the turn of the century--analysts were careful to point out that early virtualization successes in the PC market weren't indicative of long-term success prospects for low-end virtualization technologies. Fast-forward to 2006, and you'll find that certain aspects of storage-virtualization technologies have gone from rare and difficult to administer to commonplace and straightforward to manage.

Storage virtualization presented itself to the market as a panacea for the significant costs associated with storage hardware. Mainframe-class virtualization solutions let administrators provide pooled storage to clients, giving them access to all the virtual storage space they could possibly require. These solutions also let administrators play tricks with virtualization that minimized the actual amount of physical storage they needed to purchase. But a funny thing happened on the way to fully implemented virtualization: The cost of physical storage began to drop significantly as the performance and capacities of low-cost hard drives improved, making them an attractive choice for many storage solutions, including enterprise-class ones.

This market change hasn't had a negative impact on storage virtualization, though. In fact, it has made virtualization-related technologies even more relevant and applicable across a much broader potential market than early vendors had expected. The techniques and technologies developed to fruition by virtualization providers, such as automated replication, disk snapshots, and most importantly, the ability to manage multiple data versions and large amounts of data and physical storage, have led to real-time replication, continuous data protection (CDP), and other software/hardware combination products, all of which require huge amounts of storage.

The flip side of the cheap storage equation is the explosive growth in the amount of data that's kept online and the expense of backing up and managing that data. As online backup develops into a standard backup technology, the issues involved in backing up primary data become simpler, but the additional live storage makes managing storage exponentially more complex. Because the backup is hard-disk-based and online, storage administrators who formerly just needed to make sure that the live data was kept available now are responsible for the live data, multiple replicas of that data, and ensuring that the archival versions moved offline are the correct versions of the data.

Storage-virtualization technologies, though not yet commonplace, are rapidly becoming a much more critical part of business computing, from small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) to enterprise-class environments. But the most important thing for customers to consider when selecting vendors that provide virtualization solutions isn't the classic speeds-and-feeds data but the capabilities and usability of the management solution that accompanies the virtualization product.

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==== News from the Industry ====
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Scalable NAS Solution Meets Beginner Needs

Using a clustered NAS system to consolidate data from servers can be very costly. Plus, many NAS solutions aren't scalable, which means you have to purchase an additional NAS system to increase capacity. Jon Toor, ONStor's vice president of marketing, aims to shake up the market for scalable NAS by offering a solution at half the cost of other vendors' comparable solutions. The Pantera Clustered NAS system features server virtualization and n-way clustering, which lets you start with an entry-level configuration at under $40,000 and 6TB of storage. And if you want--unlike some NAS systems--you can scale in performance and capacity by simply adding filer nodes or disk, instead of purchasing a supplementary NAS system. Contact ONStor for additional information.

==== New and Improved ====
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Agentless Continuous Data Protection

Asigra announced the addition of agentless continuous data protection (CDP) functionality to its Televaulting agentless backup and recovery software. With Televaulting CDP, you can restore data from an infinite number of recovery point objectives (RPOs)--with no backup window--all without agents. Televaulting works across Windows and Linux environments, and its CDP functionality costs you no additional licensing. You pay only for the amount of compressed data that's stored in the repository. Current Televaulting users can upgrade to the CDP functionality for free. For more information, contact Asigra on the Web at

Unified iSCSI SAN/NAS Storage Solution

Nexsan Technologies announced that it has jointly developed a new unified IP SAN/NAS system with RELDATA to provide comprehensive data protection, while minimizing administrative and ownership costs of traditional IP SAN infrastructures. This new product combines Nexsan's SATABoy, a SATA RAID device, with the RELDATA IP Storage Gateway 9200 into a scalable and high-performance storage solution that unifies iSCSI-based SAN and NAS to facilitate data consolidation and replication. For more information, visit Nexsan or RELDATA on the Web at


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==== Resources ====

For more Storage-related resources, visit

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